Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard issues line-item veto of three budget provisions

Mayor says budget leaves major deficit

INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is vetoing three provisions in the city's proposed 2013 budget.

In a news release Friday morning, Ballard said he had issued a line-item veto of three items -- the allocation of more than $31,000 in County Option Income Tax money to the County General Fund; a $652,000 fund covering outside vendor contracts, including $100,000 for redistricting; and the creation of the Police and Fire Recruiting Fund.

"The budget passed by the Council majority leaves a $35 million deficit by the end of next year and next to nothing in the city's savings account to pay for it," Ballard said in a news release. "We tried on multiple occasions to reach a compromise with the Council majority; however, they've decided to just spend money we don't have and not address the city's long-term financial needs. I will not support that."

 

The veto means Democratic-controlled county offices will need to cut their budgets. Ballard said city departments under his control have already been cutting spending and becoming more efficient for several years.

 

Although the police union says money must come from somewhere to fund a new police recruit class, Ballard said that isn't necessarily so.

"Well, we're short in a lot of things, and you do what you can with the resources," Ballard said. "We're going to look at laterals. We're going to look at whatever we can do to shore all this up. But, you know, I tell people all the time, we want lower crime. It's a combination of people, process and technology, not just people all the time. Sometimes it's people, process and technology in combination. We all want more officers on the street. I don't think there's any question about that."

Ballard said he also notified the Council that a proposed $15 million charge to the Capital Improvement Board called PILOT, or "payment in lieu of taxes," which Democrats want to use to add more police officers and firefighters, is against state law.

The City-County Council passed the city's nearly $1.1 billion budget earlier this month.

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