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City of Cleveland budget hearings start Tuesday

10:31 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Cleveland City Council will convene legislative hearings at 9 a.m. on Tuesday to consider Mayor Frank G. Jackson's $538.4 million proposal for the city's general fund operating budget for 2013.

During the two-week deliberation, members of council will hear testimony, review line items and question city officials from all departments and divisions including public safety, public health, public works and public utilities prior to voting on the budget.

As a result of the City's fiscal management and an increase in employment activity, Cleveland will have a $50 million carryover from FY 2012.

While this is positive news, Cleveland still faces the effects of decimating cuts from the State of Ohio since the passage of the 2010 Ohio Biennial Budget.

For now, Cleveland will be able to:

  • Hire 25 police officers with a focus on violent crime and guns
  • Hire 40 EMS workers and purchase four ambulances, which will help offset the impact from the closing of Huron Road Hospital
  • Contribute $4 million toward maintenance on city owned facilities such as recreation centers
  • transfer $5 million into the rainy day fund

"The city's prudent fiscal management approach to spending has kept this city in good financial condition in spite of drastic cuts by the State of Ohio to the CAT tax, tangible personnel property tax, estate tax and the local government fund," said Kevin J. Kelley, chair of Council's Finance Committee.

"The city has a sound budget outlook based on responsible management and some service cuts in 2011. We strongly urge that our leaders in Columbus stop any further erosion of the local government fund and return to us our fair share of tax collections in the city."

Cleveland faces a projected $30 million loss in income in 2013 as a result of state cuts and a decrease in property tax revenue.  Cleveland faces additional costs in 2013 including:

  • An additional, 27th pay for city workers in the 2013 calendar year. This is a rare cost to the city which occurs about every 11 years
  • An increase in Cleveland Browns Stadium debt service payments by an amount of $9.8 million

"It is Cleveland City Council's responsibility to examine the city's operations through hearings and approve the operating budget for the city," said Cleveland City Council President Martin J. Sweeney.

"We are seeing better revenues due to our planning and development. Jobs, tourism and spending are on the rise in Cleveland; more than $600 million of new developments opened in 2012, including the addition of the casino, aquarium and multiple expansions in University Circle. All improve Cleveland's bottom line. The 2013 budget is sound and is a testament to Mayor Jackson and this Council's commitment to moving Cleveland forward."

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