Mayor Hogsett unveils $1 billion city spending plan

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- When he entered office on Jan. 1, 2016, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett inherited a chronic $50 million budget deficit, a crumbling infrastructure and a shrinking police force.

Now, as Hogsett unveiled the third annual budget of his administration Monday night, mayoral officials said their boss has turned the corner on the deficit while resolving other long-neglected problems remain works in progress.

Next year’s proposed $1,174,357,406 budget is up $40 million over 2018 and does not reduce city services while improving public safety and streets spending and adding other programs.

An additional $30 million in income and property tax revenues this year along with smaller than expected health care cost increases allowed the proposed spending plan to maintain a $21 million rainy day fund.

Last winter’s pothole emergency and the ongoing violence crisis gripping the city represent two of the biggest spending initiatives in the Hogsett 2019 budget.

At $700 million, public safety and criminal justice spending represents 90 percent of the general fund budget made up of local tax revenues and 59 percent of all city revenues.

Hogsett wants to hire an additional 120 IMPD officers and 80 Indianapolis firefighters in the year to come with more money poured into police communications systems and neighborhood violence reduction grants.

The proposed Department of Public Works budget of $129 million is 30 percent above this year’s spending with increases earmarked for bridgework ($27 million), streets construction and repaving ($56 million) and sidewalks and curbs ($11 million).

More spending has been planned for parks programs, long range city planning and improvements in Indianapolis Animal Care Services as well as mental health and addiction services and additional resources to connect the homeless with permanent supportive housing.

The budget faces full city county council approval in mid-October.

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