Mayor unveils 2015 budget to City-County Council

INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard unveiled his 2015 billion-dollar budget to the City-County Council on Monday night.

Ballard laid out his plans for the next fiscal year, which include more money for what he called the city's priorities.

"This budget invests in our priorities -- public safety, parks, and neighborhoods," Ballard said. "It is austere and controls the growth of spending. It keeps the city on strong financial footing and provides for the ongoing prosperity of Indianapolis."

The budget includes enough money for 50 new police officers next year and 20 additional firefighters.

MORE: 2015 budget presentation | 2015 budget book as introduced to City-County Council

Ballard also encouraged the Council to eliminate the Local Homestead Tax Credit and increase the Public Safety Tax to help fund his anti-crime plan.

Ballard's budget supports his anti-crime initiative which has three major components:

  • Protection: Hiring 280 new police officers by 2018.
  • Punishment: Convincing state lawmakers to increase the mandatory sentence for a crime using a gun to 20 years in prison.
  • Prevention: A $25 million investment in preschool education to provide scholarships to 4-year-olds.

To help pay for the plan, the mayor proposed raising the Public Safety Tax to one-half of one percent. To put that in perspective, someone who earns about $42,000 a year would pay $5.32 per month.

Ballard plans to take his ideas straight to the people of Marion County by holding a Town Hall meeting.

Ballard, Public Safety Director Troy Riggs, Indianapolis police Chief Rick Hite and Deputy Mayor of Education Jason Kloth will be on hand at Southport Presbyterian Church on Wednesday to talk about crime and early childhood education.

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