Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and City-County Council President Maggie Lewis this afternoon are announcing the framework for a long-term budget deal that if approved by the full City-County Council would restore nearly $32 million to county offices and reduce the city’s projected budget deficit in 2014 to $6 million.
The following are the terms of the agreement…
- The Mayor and Council agree to restore $32 million in County Option Income Tax (COIT) revenue to the County General Fund.
- The Mayor and Council are committed to reducing 2013 operational spending by 5%. The Mayor and Council will meet with agency directors and elected officials for individual budget reviews with the goal of introducing fiscal ordinances reducing 2013 appropriations accordingly in February.
- The Capital Improvement Board (CIB) will pay the city $5 million for public safety in 2013. The money is currently budgeted for the cost of repairing the Capitol Commons Garage. In exchange, the City, via the downtown TIF, will fund the cost of repairs.
- The Mayor and Council will approve increases of 2% and 4% respectively in the car rental and admission taxes, effective March 1, 2013.An amount equal to 100% of the revenue from the first year of the increase will be directed to public safety (approximately $6.7 million).After the first year and beyond, an amount equal to 25% of revenue from this action (up to $3 million per year) will be directed to the City for public safety.
- The Mayor and Council will form a bi-partisan commission to make a recommendation on the elimination of the Homestead Credit Subsidy as part of the 2014 budget. This action, if approved, would generate approximately $9 million in funding for the city.
- The Mayor and leadership of both Council caucuses will hold monthly financial meetings.The Mayor and Council will continue working toward the implementation of a Public Safety Foundation by the end of 2013.
The Mayor’s office says the actions taken together will produce a $12 million annual increase in general fund revenue beginning in 2014, leave the City with a manageable $6 million gap between estimated spending versus revenues for 2014, and leave $42 million in operating reserves at the end of 2013.
Overall, the agreement includes $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue raised.
The two sides had been deadlocked over the budget for months, with the Mayor using his amendatory veto power to reduce the county budgets by $32 million.