INDIANAPOLIS - The 2016 budget for the city of Indianapolis is approved, with councilors signing off on it Monday night. But there was a fair amount of discontent toward the spending outline.
The City-County Council voted 22-6 to approve a $1.1 billion budget, Republican Mayor Greg Ballard’s final one before he retires. But there was more opposition than just those six votes, including from Democrat Angela Mansfield.
"It’s very disconcerting to me that it’s been cobbled together by spending down fund balances," she said. "And within the next couple of years, many of our fund balances are going to be zero."
But had the council not voted in favor, the city would revert to last year’s spending plan. And that means no money to hire more police officers and less property taxes collected. So, a few councilors voiced disapproval, but ultimately voted yes.
"We would not have money in the budget to hire more police officers, we would not be able to fund the new fire apparatus that the fire department desperately needs going forward. There are a lot of safety issues going forward that need to be funded going forward for the protection of our community," said GOP councilor Jack Sandlin.
This budget also contain a quarter-million dollars to begin purchasing body cameras for IMPD officers.
Democratic Council President Maggie Lewis tweeted this after the vote:
Council votes 22-6 to in support of the 2016 budget proposal. Critical funding approved for IMPD, programs and services in our community.— Maggie A. Lewis (@MaggieALewis) October 13, 2015
Ballard called his last budget a "maintenance" one meant to keep things running smoothly for the transition to a new mayor in January.
Few changes were made by the council during the two-month review process. Ballard had asked for a moratorium on the homestead tax credit in order to save the city some money, but councilors decided instead to fund $10 million in credits.