On Monday Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and his Fiscal Policy Group outlined several choices the City could take in order to save community money.
Created in 2012, the Mayor’s Fiscal Policy Group was given the job of identifying options Fort Wayne could pursue in order to avoid fiscal pitfalls in 2014. According to the City, Fort Wayne is the first city in Indiana to form a team of local and state experts to help develop tactics to fight looming budget issues.
Dr. John Crawford a member of the City Council and the Fiscal Policy Group said Fort Wayne has two options in order to stay on budget.
"Our first choice is that we could balance the budget with no tax increases whatsoever, but that would cause major cuts in city departments and city services. Our second choice is to consider all other options: property tax and or income tax increases, cuts in city services or employee benefits, possible annexations, and possible use of Legacy funds," Crawford explained.
He also said Fort Wayne is lucky to have these choices.
"Many other cities are already at their maxim allowable tax level. They have no choice except to make drastic cuts in service and the quality of life in their cities," Crawford said.
Mayor Henry added that city employee layoffs are “off the table.” The Mayor’s office and Fiscal Policy Group will now conduct public meetings for citizens and business leaders to gain a better understanding of the suggested ideas and cuts.