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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

Mayor's Budget Reduces Size of Government, Maintains Core Services; Creates 3,000 Private Jobs

Thursday May 28, 2009

(see Budget Highlights, click here)

Abramson proposes no new taxes

Mayor Jerry Abramson today introduced his 2009-2010 fiscal year budget that reduces the size of government while maintaining basic services and creating 3,000 private-sector jobs with federal stimulus spending.

The $828 million budget, which includes $117 million in capital spending, invests in police and public safety, roads and bridges, new sidewalks and improvements to the city’s parks.

The budget does not raise taxes, but it eliminates 528 positions across government, including 119 filled positions that will result in layoffs effective July 1.

“This has been the most difficult budget in my 20 years as mayor,” Abramson said. “However, because of sound fiscal management and the hard work of our employees, the public will see little change in the day-to-day services they count on.”

General Fund revenues, which will decline by about 2 percent in the current budget year, are projected to decline by another 1.4 percent in the coming budget year, which starts July 1. Cuts in operating expenses are needed to offset the decline in revenues and the required increases for union pay raises, state-mandated pension payments and health insurance increases.

About 30 percent of the General Fund budget, the largest single share, will go to maintain the police force at current levels, including two new recruit classes. The budget also contains $4.3 million to complete MetroSafe, bringing all public safety agencies onto one coordinated communications network.

The $117 million capital budget will create 3,000 private sector jobs that include construction of new sidewalks, road and other transportation improvements and the purchase of new police cars, body armor and in-car computers.

“We will deliver on the President’s plan and we will put people to work,” Abramson said. “In the process, we will pave more roads, replace more curbs, improve more sidewalks and weatherize and rehab more homes than we have before.”

Revenue decline requires more belt tightening for operations spending

To help meet the shortfall in operating revenues, Abramson will:

· Close non-essential government offices for four days. The furlough dates have not been determined.

· Freeze all salaries for non-union employees.

· Continues 5 percent annual pay cut for Mayor Abramson and his leadership team

· Reduce the frequency of junk pick-up and street sweeping.

· Raise local fees in line with the state level for building construction permits and alcohol licenses. The budget also increases the inmate booking free from $25 to $35.

The position reductions were based on recommendations from department directors and are in line with priorities identified by Metro Council leaders.

The Neighborhoods Department will have the largest percentage of positions cut at 22 percent, followed by Metro Parks at 18 percent, Human Resources at 16 percent and Housing and Family Services at 14 percent. Police and Public Protection agencies, which account for 56 percent of General Fund spending, will see only a 1.3 reduction in positions, all of them non-sworn positions.

The entire city budget is available online at