Public safety to get more funding in proposed $1.1 billion Detroit budget

Mayor Mike Duggan delivered Detroit's new budget Tuesday, saying police and fire will remain a top priority.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan presented a $1.1 billion to the Detroit City Council Tuesday.

With confidence and optimism Duggan presented the city's first budget since the city's historic bankruptcy.

"This is a budget that I believe we can run on a balanced basis," Duggan said.

The 1.1 billion-dollar budget Duggan says displays very few changes to former Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's plan. And while the city remains under strict oversight of the financial review commission -- it must submit its spending plan to the commission 100 days before the city's fiscal year on July 1 - and keep a balanced budget for three years.

"It's going to take a lot of work," Duggan said. "We have to balance the budget in 2015, 16 and 17. And do some other things and then the financial review commission goes dormant in early 2018."

Duggan continues to stress that public safety and city services remain a top priority. And he says this spending plan will continue to provide more funding specifically for police and fire. 

"People will see what they've been seeing all along," Duggan said. "Which is, we're going to make progress. It allows us to put more officers on the street which is critical, it allows us to continue hiring EMTs and firefighters, which is critical."

The four-year plan projects the city's property tax revenues to increase. But income tax is expected to decrease by roughly $10 million. 

Council member Gabe Leland calls this a big concern.

"I'm looking forward to working with the administration along with our officials at the state level," he said. "We should be collecting everything that's owed to us."

But overall many council members praised Duggan's "conservative" plan and seem hopeful it will keep the city on the right track.

City council will be meeting daily over the the next two weeks to ask questions, make any changes and approve the budget before it is presented to the financial review commission.

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