No tax hikes in Mayor’s 2012 budget
July 19th, 2011
Omaha, NE – Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle officially released his proposed 2012 budget to the City Council this afternoon and started off in a positive direction.
â€œWe have come this far together doing what is right for Omaha, and we will continue to be at our best when we pull together for the greater good of this community,â€ said Mayor Suttle.
The proposal garnered a positive response, but one of Suttleâ€™s statements was probably the most popular of the day: â€œI am pleased to tell you we will be able to pay for vital city services this year without increasing taxes.â€
The Mayorâ€™s proposed budget comes after last yearâ€™s proposal that included controversial restaurant and commuter taxes. This yearâ€™s proposal took a decidedly different approach.
â€œThe budget before you today is a responsible one and a strategic one,” Suttle said. “It positions city government for long-term success in responding to the publicâ€™s need for services. Most importantly it has been designed with the people of Omahaâ€™s best interest in mind, now and in the future.â€
The total recommended budget for 2012 is $730,641,453, compared with last yearâ€™s of over $662,861,247 â€“ a ten percent jump. Much of this is attributed to the multi-billion dollar project designed to separate Omahaâ€™s aging sewers. That project has helped raise the Public Works budget by $100,947,890.
An entirely new division has also been created entitled Park Safety. Suttle said the creation comes in response to citizen concerns about the safety of parks throughout Omaha.
Suttle said, â€œFor the first time ever, hundreds of citizens in Omaha weighed in on the budget through a virtual town hall system called EngageOmaha.com, and we listened.â€
Other highlights include a reduction in staff for both Omahaâ€™s Police and Fire departments. The Police Department will see a decrease of nine officers, and a decrease of 28 firemen through attrition compared to last year.
The city council will hear discussion on the department plans on August 2nd. The council is scheduled to vote on the proposed 2012 budget on August 23rd.
Watch below to see Mayor Suttle’s budget presentation video to the Omaha City Council.
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