Wednesday, October 12, 2011
3% property tax rise projected for 2013 to deal with pressure.
If you thought this year's zero percent increase in property tax rates was for good, think again. According to Minneapolis budget director Heather Johnston, the city is facing a four percent increase in its health care costs from 2011 to 2012 despite restructuring its benefit plan. That would be a proverbial drop in the budgetary bucket, until you look to 2013, when Johnston predicts costs will jump another nine percent, followed by year-after-year increases of 16 percent starting in 2014. That works out to around $16 million that the city has to find somewhere in its budget in 2014, either through cuts or property tax increases. Right now, the city assumes it will have to ask for a three percent increase in taxes next year, and more in …
Thursday, October 6, 2011
The Fifth Precinct could lose its two current crime prevention specialists, but gain two from other precincts.
They may not be the most glamorous members of the Minneapolis Police Department, but they are central to addressing issues around the community. Now, the jobs of five crime prevention specialists are under the budget axe as the department tries to balance its books for 2012. These are examples of the "difficult cuts" Mayor RT Rybak promised last month in order to keep property tax increases down for next year. The crime prevention specialists "keep us on track" in addressing neighborhood problems, Police Chief Tim Dolan said at a budget hearing Wednesday morning. The specialists also help residents deal with chronic, quality-of-life issues such as party houses or problem rental properties while working with crime-fighting block clubs. Of …
Friday, September 16, 2011
Patch asks: What do you make of it?
Thursday, Mayor RT Rybak finally released the details of the budget he proposed on Tuesday afternoon in a speech that promised major investments in road rebuilding and economic development, while suggesting "difficult cuts" were in store to pay for these priorities without hiking property taxes. At first glance, the proposal's highlights include: Southwest Minneapolis Patch will be pouring over this budget in the days ahead, but we invite you to do the same! As you read through it, what jumps out at you? What questions do you have that you'd like Patch to look into?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Board-up program was intended to save firefighter jobs.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Patch will live-tweet the event
After weeks of waiting, Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak is slated to present his proposed 2012 budget to the City Council today at noon on the fourth floor of the Grain Exchange Building in downtown. The bulding serving as a backdrop to the Mayor's speech was recently re-opened with city help as an incubator for small, creative businesses. The mayor is nearly a month late delivering his Budget Address, compared to when city mayors typically outline their budget proposals to the public. The Board of Estimation and Taxation will hold a hearing tomorrow afternoon to hear testimony from citizens and vote on the mayor's proposed two percent property tax hike. The mayor laid the blame for his tardines on the state government shutown, but has come …
Friday, August 19, 2011
10 firefighters are expected to be cut as a result of state budget cuts.
This morning, the Minneapolis City Council will vote on a measure that could result in 10 firefighters losing their jobs in an attempt to prevent further Fire Department layoffs. The move comes as councilmembers and Mayor RT Rybak look to soften the blow of so-called "waterfall" budget cuts that were written into the city's 2011 budget in case the state cut local government aid and other appropriations. The Council's Ways and Means Committee voted on Monday to take $1.75 million from the city contingency fund—used to pay for snowplowing and repairs to tornado damage, for example—to prevent further layoffs. In a Council meeting Thursday morning, Fire Chief Alex Johnson said the cuts would drop the number of firefighters reporting for duty …