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City to cut $20 million from most departments in 2012

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Indianapolis will reduce its work force by 200 positions through attrition next year to help cut $20 million from non-public safety agencies in its 2012 budget.

The cuts were highlighted Thursday afternoon in a preview of the budget to be presented to the City-County Council on Monday. They result from a $19 million drop in income-tax revenue, relatively flat property taxes and increased costs for expenditures such as employee health care and fuel.

Mayor Greg Ballard called the roughly $1.1 billion budget the “tightest in years.”

The city will flat-line spending for public safety agencies such as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Indianapolis Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department. No police officers or firefighters will be laid off, and there will be a police recruit class, albeit a small one.

The city also plans to transfer $40 million from its downtown tax-increment financing district to the city-county budget, a move that city finance officials said won’t impact the district’s reserves or debt-coverage ratio.

Another $4 million will be transferred from the budget of the Capital Improvement Board to cover the cost of providing public safety for the 2012 Super Bowl.

While Ballard said the city faced a tough financial picture, he emphasized that Indianapolis has been spared the more dramatic cuts faced by cities such as Trenton, N.J., Cleveland and Memphis.

“We’ve been able to avoid dramatic [reductions] at this point,” Ballard said.

When pressed about cuts the city might see–other than personnel–Ballard and City Controller Jeff Spalding wouldn’t detail specifics, but said it’s left up to department managers to find efficiencies. They did, however, say the cuts would not make a noticeable impact on city services.

Ballard said there could be a “small degradation” in some services–for example, a phone call to a city agency might not be answered as quickly, but he underscored that city services “are better than they’ve ever been.”

The city projects revenue will remain flat in 2013 but will start to increase starting in 2014.

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  • Freshman English
    Dear IBJ,
    Please send your editor to headline writing school. That headline doesn't even come close to meaning what you think it means.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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