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Ballard Introduces $1 Billion Budget for 2015 to City-County Council

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard introduced his $1 billion 2015 budget to the City-County Council Monday night.

Ballard told the council his budget places the greatest emphasis on the city's number one priority: public safety.  90-percent of the city's general fund is directed toward public safety and criminal justice.  Ballard says the budget provides funding for the 80 police officers being hired in 2014 as well as 50 new officers and 20 new firefighters in 2015.

The budget maintains the city's $2 million Crime Prevention Grant.  It also uses the remaining $7.3 million from RebuildIndy for infrastructure improvements.  Ballard says the budget funds what the city needs to fund but does not include any money the city does not have, such as money from RebuildIndy 2.

Ballard says the budget cuts the city's structural deficit from $37 million to $25-million.  He also touted his anti-crime plan which is not included in the budget, but is included in separate proposals which were also introduced to the council Monday night.

Some of those proposals include an increase in the Public Safety Tax and the elimination of the Local Homestead Tax Credit.  Another proposal allows the investment of $50 million over five years to provide preschool scholarships to Indy four-year-olds, half of which would come from the city and the other half from government and philanthropic grants.  Ballard says Eli Lilly will invest $10 million over three years if the preschool proposal is passed.

The City-County Council must pass a budget by November 3.

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