Mayor's Budget Limits Taxes, Provides Steadiness in Basic Services
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 - 7:09am
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz today joined community service advocates, Firefighters Local 311 representatives and Fire Chief Debra Amesqua to outline his 2010 operating budget.
"This budget provides steadiness and consistency that will allow us to get through challenging times without radical swings in property taxes or basic services," Mayor Cieslewicz said. "At a time when our taxpayers are also strained, this budget includes a tax increase lower than the average for the last decade and a half."
Despite a $2.4 million increase in the cost of health insurance, a $384,000 increase in landfill tipping fees, a $950,000 increase to add a new paramedic ambulance, and a cut in State Shared Revenue and other payments of over $700,000, the mayor's budget comes in with half a percent increase in spending - the lowest in 15 years. Taxes on the average home will go up 3.85% - significantly lower than the average over the last 15 years.
The mayor's budget continues the hiring freeze that has saved the city $1.5 million since May and counts on other unions to follow the lead of Firefighters Local 311 in accepting no pay increases for the next two years.
"It is this kind of cooperation with our employees that will allow us to avoid pay cuts, mandatory furloughs and layoffs," Mayor Cieslewicz said.
The mayor also keeps his commitment to adding an eighth paramedic unit to enhance emergency medical response times.
The Mayor's full operating budget is available online at http://www.cityofmadison.com/comp/budgetindex.htm. The Mayor's budget will now go to Common Council for review. The Council will debate and vote on the budget beginning on November 10.
For the fourth year, the Mayor's operating budget is accompanied by Madison Measures, a comprehensive collection of city government performance benchmarks. Madison Measures is available online at http://www.cityofmadison.com/comp/budgetindex.htm.
- Rachel Strauch-Nelson, 608-266-4611