Proposed 2014 Budget: No Property Tax Increases, No Big Cuts (Yet)

OMAHA (KPTM)- Mayor Jean Stothert proposed a 2014 budgetTuesday with no tax property tax increases.

The total budget is $19 million more than the 2013 budget.

Mayor Stothert said each department had to come to the tablewith plans on how to cut costs.

"Our goal was to make sure that we reduce spending in everydepartment and could pass a budget that was balanced without a tax increase,"said Stothert.

Stothert said money was added to demolish vacant and abandonedhomes and resurface streets.

Stothert said she plans on getting rid of the restauranttax, but had too little time. "There is not way in this short period of timethat I could fill a 47 million dollar budget, there's just no way."

Stothert set the fire department budget at 90.6 milliondollars. That would include 16 layoffs, one fire truck out of service, one ambulanceout of service, and demotions.

"They felt like they could not come up with options to dothat so we provided them with three options. All three options have includedlayoffs, taking rigs out of service, demotions, and it also included movingthree assistant Fire Chiefs and only funding one," said Stothert.

Stothert also added more money to the police departmentbudget. She increased funding by about two percent. The budget includes newpolice radios and continuing to replace old cruisers.

She said she hopes to hire more officers in the future. "Graduallyin 15, 16, 17 to increase sworn strength with OPD," said Stothert.

The Omaha Police Department listed one of its plans for nextyear is to crack down on abandoned cars to reduce crime and raise revenue forthe city.

One Omaha woman said she agrees that abandoned cars areissues in crowded streets. "It's just people think they've been left abandoned,no one around so it's there's for the taking," said Tessa Entz.

The budget still has to be approved by city council.

A public hearing will be held in August.

For the proposedbudget, click here.