Debt, public safety, streets lead proposed 2020 Indianapolis budget increase

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will introduce his proposed 2020 budget to the City-County Council tonight.

A preliminary examination of this year’s proposed budget as published on the Council’s website indicates a spending plan with more money set aside for retiring public debt and boosting public safety and public works.

Last year, Hogsett offered a 2019 budget of $1,174,357,406, a $40 million increase over the year before.

The Council eventually adopted a budget of approximately $1.2 billion.

Council Proposal 324, the fiscal budget for 2020, lists slightly more than $1.2 billion in proposed spending for next year.

Some agencies, including Hogsett’s office, will see proposed spending reductions.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's (IMPD) proposed budget will climb to more than $283 million, a $6.6 million increase.

The Indianapolis Fire Department's (IFD) proposed budget will climb to more than $215 million, a nearly $8 million increase.

Mayor Hogsett has said he is on track to fulfill his promise to increase IMPD’s sworn police force to 1,743 officers.

In 2020, both IMPD and IFD are committed to contractual pay raises for police officers and firefighters.

The Marion County Sheriffs Office, the Marion County Public Defender and Superior Court will all see increases while the Marion County Prosecutor is in store for a slight budget decrease.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) saw 30 percent increase in its 2019 spending plan in the wake of last year’s pothole crisis.

This coming year, DPW is in line for a hike of $8 million for additional spending in capital improvements, solid waste collection and storm water management.

Agencies that will also see significant proposed increases include the Marion County Auditor, the Office of Public Health and Safety, Indy Parks and the Department of Metropolitan Development.

The city’s obligations to outstanding debts, revenue bonds, flood control bonds and pilot debt service are reflected in increases of $13.3 million from a year ago.

Last year Hogsett boasted that he had retired a chronic $50 million deficit and proposed a balanced spending plan that included no additional taxes while maintaining and enhancing city services.

Following the budget’s introduction tonight, various council committees will begin hearings this week on the proposed spending plan with final approval set in mid-October, approximately three weeks before the mayoral election.

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