2013 budget invests in Minneapolis while decreasing spending
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and the City Council unanimously approved the City’s 2013 budget, which will mean major investments in infrastructure, public safety, economic growth and reform. Overall the City’s spending is down about 3 percent from 2012.
The $1.085 billion budget provides:
- A boost in funding for streets and other infrastructure, with infrastructure improvements in 2013 three times higher than previously planned.
- An investment in public safety, adding $2.5 million to the Police Department, with the aim of having 10 more officers on the force by next summer. Next year’s budget also adds $1.1 million to hire firefighters so that the Fire Department can prepare for expected retirements. This level of investment comes on top of a federal SAFER grant of $1.07 million received earlier this year.
- Economic growth in the city through continued investments in the City’s community planning and development efforts that have produced strong results in job growth and training, business growth and development, and promoting transit-oriented development.
- Major reforms and efficiency savings that better align the City’s construction and development review services with its planning and economic development work. These and other changes are projected to save the City between $300,000 and $400,000 in the first year alone.
The 2013 budget was made possible through more than a decade of solving tough financial challenges that faced the City. The challenges include:
- Paying down debt. The City has paid down or avoided $241 million in debt since 2002 and restored its AAA credit rating.
- Reforming pensions. After years of effort, the City succeeded in merging into the State’s PERA retirement system several closed pension funds whose taxpayer-funded obligations were exploding. In 2012 alone, this reform saved taxpayers $20 million. Minneapolis will also retire all its pension debt in 2012.
- Holding the line on wages. The City partnered with employees to hold the line on wages at several points during the last decade, which has saved jobs and help hold down property-tax increases. Mayor Rybak thanked City employees for their partnership.
- Target Center. From 1994 through 2012, Minneapolis property taxpayers were saddled with Target Center costs. As a result of the Vikings stadium deal that passed earlier this year, $5 million in annual Target Center costs were lifted off the backs of Minneapolis property taxpayers.
The overall increase in the 2013 property-tax levy is 1.77 percent, which is below the rate of inflation. In fact, 70 percent of taxpayers will not feel this increase, or will see a decrease in their property-tax bill. Had it not been for the City’s careful financial planning over the years, taxpayers would likely be paying 35 percent more in property taxes than they currently are.
To view the City’s 2013 budget, go to www.minneapolismn.gov/finance/budget.
Published Dec 19, 2012