INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - On Monday, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will propose a budget that, his office says, upholds the city’s commitment to police, to firefighters and to Public Safety in general.
The preview of the presentation released on Friday even predicts his administration’s approach to the new year can lead to a budget surplus by the end of 2014. But, it won’t come easily.
First, the Mayor wants to close a “structural deficit” estimated at $55 million.
That would be done, in part, by expanding a taxing district and by eliminating the local homestead tax credit.
The taxing district applies to IMPD. While the department serves almost the entire county, it’s the people in the old city limits that pay the bills.
That didn’t change, several years ago, when the old Indianapolis Police Department merged with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Mayor Ballard wants the taxing district expanded, countywide, with the exception of Beech Grove, Lawrence, Southport and Speedway.
“The new district means everyone who gets IMPD protection pays their fair share,” says the Mayor’s Office.
The elimination of the local homestead tax credit would also help reduce the deficit by $11.5 million. The Mayor’s preview notes this does not affect the state’s homestead exemption. Instead, it “eliminates a subsidy paid mostly by low and middle-income earners to benefit wealthiest homeowners.”
According to Friday’s preview, the average impact would be “less than $2 per month on homes not at the 1 percent [property tax] cap.”
Democrats control the City-County Council.
- ONLINE EXTRA | Dems have priorities for budget
Friday night, Council President Maggie Lewis told 24-Hour News 8 she expects “the biggest reaction” from her colleagues “will come from the reintroduction of the elimination of the homestead credit since we recently voted to keep the credit in place.”
Lewis also noted that “the budget process is all about priorities. We made our priorities clear earlier this week with public safety topping the list.”
The Mayor will make his presentation to the council, in person, at Monday night’s meeting.
Lewis said “I look forward to a process of give and take as we craft the 2014 budget. This is the only way we can successfully ensure Indianapolis remains a top class City.”
Saturday morning, Wishard Memorial Hospital closed its doors.
As a tribute to veterans, the Indiana American Legion dedicated a new flagpole at the governor's residence on Saturday.
A travel advisory put in place for Wayne County has been extended.