Mayor Hodges’ 2016 Budget Adopted By City Council
Budget Aims to Transform Minneapolis into 21st-Century City with Focus on Equity
More than half of Minneapolis Homeowners Will See the City Portion of Their Property Taxes Go Down
December 9, 2015 (MINNEAPOLIS) —The budget Mayor Betsy Hodges proposed to transform Minneapolis into a leading and equitable 21st-century city was unanimously approved by the City Council this evening.
The budget that the Mayor proposed and Council approved right-sizes revenue and spending, including with $750,000 in strategic, ongoing cuts. As a result of this right-sizing, the 3.4% increase in the overall property-tax levy is one percentage point lower than it would have been, even before new investments.
More than half of Minneapolis homeowners will see a decrease in the City portion of their property taxes.
“Two years ago, I committed to do the daily work of bringing about One Minneapolis: to run the city well, to grow it inclusively, and to make it equitable,” said Mayor Hodges. “Moving the dial on these goals is how we will become a globally-recognized, 21st-century city for everyone. The budget adopted tonight is another marker of that firm commitment, and gives us transformative tools to do this essential work.”
The Council meeting and preceding public hearing were attended by many residents, including protesters. Mayor Hodges said, “It is valuable that people came out tonight and made their voices heard. The actions that were taken here tonight, and were not taken here tonight, reflect that we value that we hear from the community.”
Mayor Hodges continued, “The work of forming the budget — just as the work of running the city well, growing it inclusively, and increasing equity — happens on high-profile days and low-profile days. The work that went into this budget — the countless hours spent with community, City staff, and Council Members — is evidence that every day I am doing the work to ensure that in Minneapolis, your race and your zip code do not determine your life outcome. Day after day, week after week, month after month—we are doing the hard work necessary not just to change things, but to transform them.
“These are things that I have been talking about day in and day out for the last two years. This is my work and the work of the City. There’s more to come.”
Highlights of the budget include:
· $14.5 million in affordable housing largely spurred by the Mayor’s Cradle to K cabinet’s proposal to focus on housing as a strategy to ensure a healthy start for kids. This includes investments in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, $1 million flexible dollars to help create affordable housing options for large families.
· $305,000 for additional and accelerated implicit bias, procedural justice, and crisis-intervention training for Minneapolis Police officers.
· $140,000 for municipal criminal-justice reform and including tripling the City’s investment in restorative justice.
· $1 million for officer-worn body camera technology.
· $50,000 to match private investments in closing the “Word Gap” among low-income children and children of color, as part of the Mayor’s Cradle to K initiative.
· $362,000 for BUILD Leaders – a jobs program for men of color 18-24 employed to do mentoring work for boys of color.
· Raising the sworn complement of police officers to 862 while funding a recruit class and ongoing community service officer classes.
· $350,000 for 30 TechHire Initiative scholarships that will provide women and people of color with job training to meet employers growing demand for a workforce educated in technology skills.
· $10 million for the City’s portion of the 10th Avenue bridge rehabilitation.
Other investments in the budget include:
Children and Youth
· $394,000 in funding that supports the work of the Mayor’s Cradle to K initiative including community outreach about Autism focused in the East African community and lead testing in homes.
· $92,000 for enhancing the Urban Scholars program, which provides public-sector professional internships for college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Workplace and Workforce of the Future
· $200,000 in funding for the Fire Department to implement innovative new programs to get youth and high school students of diverse background into pipelines that transition to jobs in the EMT and firefighter fields.
· $200,000 in funding for two new positions to aid in the roll-out of the City’s Working Family Agenda.
· $124,000 for funding the federal Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recommendation to implement an automated software data system to operationalize an Early Intervention System in the Police Department.
· Funding for two new sworn police officers who will focus on youth outreach downtown, which brings the authorized strength of the department to 862 sworn officers, and $300,000 for police to hire a recruit class.
· $435,262 in funding for two additional analysts in the Crime Analyst Unit and two additional forensic scientists in the Crime Lab. The new positions will free officers up to spend more time in the community and process requests more efficiently and quickly.
· Funding for the implementation of police body cameras, storage of data, two video analysts.
· A proposed $15,000 for the City Attorney’s office to increase the reach of their driver’s licenses diversion program which aims to reduce the negative impact driving related offenses has on communities of color.
· Funding for a pilot program that gives the Attorney’s Office the responsibility to charge misdemeanors and ensures more direct feedback to officers following arrests that do not meet the charging threshold and minimizing needless arrests.
· Tripling investments the City makes in restorative justice to break the cycle of recidivism and negative community impact that the traditional justice system frequently fails to do.
· One new position in the City Auditor’s office to handle the increased demand of property assessments brought on by strong development throughout the city; a new American with Disabilities compliance position to ensure the city is accessible and livable for all residents; and $75,000 to the Auditor’s office to improve capacity to assess risks in technology environment.
· $200,000 in supplemental funding for the Presidential election to prevent long lines and voter confusion, ensuring everyone is afforded the right to vote.
· $85,000 for the implementation of the Business Made Simple working group recommendations to cut through red tape and improve city systems to make it easier for businesses to invest in Minneapolis.
· Green Business Investment Matching funding to provide money for businesses that work with hazardous substances to operate more cleanly and efficiently and be innovative in their efforts to reduce pollution.
Managed Growth and Infrastructure
· Funding for four new construction and six new housing inspectors.
· $155,000 for the Upper Harbor Terminal to go toward preparation and development of the site.
Climate Change and Sustainability
· Ongoing funding for the first-in-the-nation Clean Energy Partnership that will expand its ability to execute the 2016 work plan and meet goals to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in Minneapolis.
· $50,000 to engage more communities and residents engage the City’s Zero Waste programs.
· Funding for two positions in CPED for the next three years to help support the creation of the City’s new Comprehensive plan—which guides growth and operations—with a focus on sustainability and equity.
Published Dec 9, 2015