FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2013
2014 Budget Approved with Bipartisan Council Support
Budget adds 80 IMPD Officers, Supports Schools and Protects Taxpayers
Indianapolis – Tonight, the Indianapolis City/County Council approved the 2014 budget in a bipartisan vote that included input from both parties. The budget adds 80 needed officers to the IMPD ranks, but holds the line on taxes and protects critical school funding. “I am pleased we came to a bipartisan agreement that serves our entire community,” said Council President Maggie A. Lewis. “A budget that improves public safety and protects taxpayers is a win for all our residents.”
“Throughout the budget process, the Council majority and Mayor’s Office worked together,” said Council Vice President John Barth, “From the beginning, the Council’s goal has been to support IMPD officers while minimizing the impact on taxpayers. We were able to do both with this budget.”
Mayor Ballard’s original proposed budget raised property taxes by eliminating the Homestead Tax Credit – which would have meant higher tax bills for residents and a loss of revenue for schools. The budget negotiation focused on finding another way to pay for additional police officers. To fund a class of 30 IMPD officers in addition to the 50 already in the budget, the Council and Mayor agreed to tap a $5.7 million fund for legal expenses for the Citizens Energy Utilities transfer that had reverted to the City and to use $6.9 million from the fiscal stability fund.
In addition to passing the budget, the Council introduced a proposal to create a bipartisan study commission to determine the appropriate and necessary number of IMPD officers and to review and analyze long-term funding options. “Public Safety Director Riggs and his team have laid the groundwork for us to build on, which will allow us to to take an in-depth look at cost projections and staffing models so we can do needed long-term planning” said Vice President Barth.