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.


  • 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. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.