Ballard Proposes City Budget for 2014
(photo courtesy RTV6)
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard proposed his 2014 budget to the City-County Council Monday night.
Mayor Ballard said his budget reflects the community's priorities with over 90% of all revenue being dedicated to public safety and criminal justice. He said the budget protects funding for parks and invests in the community by guaranteeing grants for Noble of Indiana, the arts and community crime prevention efforts.
One of the main items in Ballard's budget is the elimination of the homestead tax credit Ballard introduced that item in the 2013 budget, but it was removed from the final budget passed by the council. Ballard also proposed the citywide expansion of the special services district which helps pay for IMPD. The mayor's Chief of Staff Ryan Vaughn says the combination of these two items will result in $13 million in annual revenue which would directly go to IMPD.
Ballard's budget contains $592 million in general fund spending, down from $594 million in 2013. Vaughn says they were able to hold healthcare costs at the same level as 2013, especially because the Affordable Health Care Act was delayed for a year. The mayor is also asking city agencies to absorb the cost of contracted raises through savings in their existing budgets which would save the city an additional $3 million.
Budget hearings will be held by the council over the next two months. The council must approve a budget by November 1.