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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

2 public meetings to focus on Fort Wayne's plans for tax increases, spending cuts

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Monday, April 08, 2013 11:10 am
Fort Wayne city officials have scheduled two public meetings to discuss a mix of cost-cutting and increased fees and taxes proposed to help avoid budget shortfalls in coming years. A meeting focused on residents' and neighborhoods' concerns will be 6 p.m. April 24 in the Omni Room in Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.

A meeting focused more on the impact on businesses will be at 8 a.m. May 2 at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, 826 Ewing St.

City officials blame much of this emerging budget problem on property-tax caps. They say that since 2009, the cap has resulted in a loss of $53 million in revenue to the city. They summarize the major elements of the fiscal proposal as:

*Add academy class for Police and Fire – 20 new police officers and 15 new firefighters

*Fund needed, annual capital improvements for streets, roads, and parks facilities

*From the Legacy fund, use $1 million per year for five years for neighborhood street and road improvements

*Revise benefits package that employees receive to better align with benefits offered in the private sector

*Move fire protection fees from property tax bill to City Utilities bill

*Adopt local-option income taxes to fund increase in number of public-safety worker and to provide additional property-tax relief

*Explore annexations


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