Councilwoman Brown’s budget statement

Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Liz Brown. Courtesy photo.

News release from Fort Wayne City Councilwoman Liz Brown:

2012 budget statement from from Council Finance Chair Liz Brown R at-large

Fort Wayne City Council has returned roughly $3 million dollars to the local economy, and our citizens, by swiftly rejecting Tom Henry’s request for an increase in property taxes for 2012. The budget process before City Council is set to conclude next Tuesday, October 25, when the budget proposed by Mayor Henry and adjusted by City Council, will be finally and formally adopted.

Henry’s original budget included the nearly $3 million dollar property tax increase for Fort Wayne residents, but the Council voted to reject that increase. I called for the levy to be set at 2011 levels–$106,024,105.00. The motion to cut the property tax levy by that amount was passed unanimously. The 2012 budget, however, remains intact, and it not supported entirely by 2012 revenues. In addition to the Henry Administration drawing from the city’s cash reserves this year (2011) to meet expenditures not included in the 2011 budget, the city administration will again need to use its cash reserves to fund appropriations that will be incurred in the 2012 budget year.

While property owners will be shielded from a tax increase next year, the city’s cash reserve, built up through unused past property tax increases, will be spent down in 2011 and 2012. The Administration and the City Council need to be keenly aware that cost savings need to be found in a 2013 budget to maintain a prudent cash reserve without putting tax payers at risk.

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