Highlights Include: No Tax Increases, No Layoffs, Additional Police Cars
Albuquerque- Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry will present a balanced operating budget for Fiscal Year 2013 to City Councilors.
The budget comes on the heels of a Five-Year Forecast that projects the City to be in the best fiscal position in seven years, compared to the $90 million deficit that the City faced when Mayor Berry took office. Since taking over in 2009, the administration has saved over $140 million dollars on behalf of taxpayers while avoiding layoffs and tax increases. In the process, services to the community have been kept at a high level.
"We’ve made some tough decisions over the past several years, and those decisions are paying off for the citizens of Albuquerque," said Mayor Berry. "We are committed to shrinking the size of local government, while providing world-class public safety and other services to our residents, and while investing in critical infrastructure and quality of life. Many thanks to all directors and staff for working hard and working smart on this budget."
Since taking office, Mayor Berry has reduced the size of local government by over 200 positions while keeping the overall cost of government virtually flat, growing less than 1% in three budget cycles.
Highlights of this year’s budget include:
• No tax increases, no layoffs, no pay cuts, and no reduction of hours at any of our facilities
• Renewed funding for the equivalent of a 1% raise for employees making below $50 thousand per year (subject to negotiations)
• A second year of increased reserves, beyond the required 1/12
• Continued funding for 1,100 officers at the Albuquerque Police Department
• $2.2 million for replacement of police vehicles
• Continued funding for the Albuquerque Fire Department, which is now at the highest staffing levels in history
• New positions/funding at the Animal Welfare and Transit Departments and Veterans’ Memorial Park
• Funding in partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools for a first of its kind International Baccalaureate scholar program and continued funding of the Running Start Program designed for students to gain workforce training and experience
• Funding for ABQ: The Plan in two parts: 1) $3 million to pay debt service on the Paseo del Norte/I-25 project bonds pending voter approval and; 2) $3 million to the Capital Acquisition Fund to begin funding the pay-as-you-go portion of this plan for project(s) developed through community input
• No vacant position cuts for the first time since 2008 (pending Matrix organizational evaluation)