Nov 10, 2016 - Toledo Blade - Hicks-Hudson promises balanced ’17 budget plan - "Mayor declines to share details"
The mayor said the city would use the upcoming results of an “outcome-based budgeting,” which is supposed to determine the costs for each program, to finalize the budget before it must be approved by Toledo City Council by March 31, 2017.
Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, buoyed by Tuesday’s passage of Toledo’s temporary income tax, promised a balanced 2017 budget by next week’s deadline.
But she could offer no hints to its contents or if the city would be back on the ballot next year for the kind of tax increase voters shot down in March.
The mayor did not disclose how much she would propose taking from the city’s capital improvements budget for general fund expenses next year.
And will the city invent more fictional reasons to increase the illegal refuse fee tax again?
The city will pay more in personnel costs next year to cover contractually guaranteed pay raises.
A three-year contract inked in 2015 with Toledo Firefighters Local 92 granted 0.75 percent annual raises through next year and also increased the department’s “minimum manning” requirement from 103 to 107. It will go up to 110 on Jan. 1, 2017, further increasing the city’s costs.
Toledo’s rank-and-file police officers were granted 0.75 percent pay increases each year for the same three years. In 2017, patrolmen with 10 or more years of seniority will be deemed corporals and get a stipend equal to 3 percent of base wages that year.
The city has shifted millions since 2010 from the capital budget to the general fund to keep it in the black and to fund the salaries of police and fire personnel — the fund’s biggest expense. In November, 2015, Ms. Hicks-Hudson said she would have to move $10.4 million for 2016 costs, which she also said was too high but unavoidable. It was instead more like $11.1 million this year — about a 6.7 percent hike.
In 2015, the city budgeted $11 million from the capital improvements budget to use for general operations but actually used $9.5 million for that transfer.
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