Richards Proposes City's Spending Plan

May 17, 2013

Mayor Tom Richards says his proposed budget closes a 42-million dollar gap, maintains financial flexibility to cope with anticipated gaps in the future and invests in capital projects while the state works on new ways to finance its cities.
Richard's 481-million dollar plan is 2 percent leaner than this year's budget.
Among other things, Richards says the city will save 10.9-million dollars by amortizing pension payments, and save 17.3-million through reductions in its cash capital program.
While the tax rate stays the same, tax bills will go up on average for residents by 24-dollars, and go down for businesses an average of 246-dollars.
That's due to a state-mandated shift in taxes from commercial to residential properties, Richards says.
The spending plan cuts six positions from the Central Library, but adds 17 full-time workers, for a net gain of 11 employees.
He says the reallocation of resources could result in layoffs of 1 full-timer and three part-time workers.
City Council President and mayoral candidate Lovely Warren says she hasn't had time to digest the budget, and she and her staff plan to go through it.
She says on the surface, the plans calls for hiring more people, smoothing out the pension fund, and raising enterprise funds.
But she says this is an election year, and the budget reflects that it's an election year.
Here's a link to the proposed spending plan