Today's Budget Proposal -- Defining 'Brilliant at the Basics'

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You’ve asked us to give you a city government that delivers solid core services, that prioritizes the basics, and that runs efficiently. Today, in my first budget proposal to the Memphis City Council, I’ve delivered a document that I think takes a major step in that direction.

In our proposed 2016-17 city budget, which does not call for a tax increase and does not dip into reserves, we’re putting substance behind what we mean when we say “brilliant at the basics.” It means prioritizing $3.8 million more to pay our police officers and $1.9 million to pay our fire fighters. It means spending 10 percent more than last year on paving streets. And it means making another solid step toward fully funding our annual pension contribution.

This is a $667 million budget -- so yes, there are many, many details. You can learn all you want and more at a special web page we’ve set up -- There, you can read my full prepared remarks to the City Council, read the news release we’re sharing with the news media, and -- if you dare -- pore over the PDFs of both proposed budgets.

But beyond the priorities we listed above, here are a few more points you should know:

  • We’re doing more for MATA, spending $5 million more toward its capital needs and $2.5 million more toward its operating needs.
  • We’ve funded two police academy classes in this budget as we work to increase our police force. We’re also funding those new 911 call-takers.
  • With a proposed pension funding amount of $54 million, we’re $10 million ahead of where the state requires us to be in 2016-17.

You’ll hear more about our budget proposal in future emails and on social media. I know it’s complicated, but it’s important -- at its core, a budget is a document that outlines our priorities. We’ve made them crystal clear in our proposal today, and we look forward to working with the City Council in the coming weeks to adopt a budget that makes life better for every Memphian, every day.


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