Madison Mayor Paul Soglin calls for departments to prepare a 2014 budget for funding not exceeding 2013 amounts and a budget that includes proposals to reduce funding by three percent, according to a release.
Soglin said in the release that although state government is projecting a surplus of over $1 billion, the state budget does not restore cuts in state aids to local government services from the last legislative session
According to the release, state government spending for local revenue sharing, transportation and transit assistance, and payment for municipal police and fire protection services will increase at over twice the rate of inflation but funding from the state will be flat in 2014.
Soglin said costs for fuel, insurance, and infrastructure continues to increase at the local level while the state continues to limit the city’s ability to raise local revenue for local priorities.
In addition to already scheduled employee pay increases, anticipated health insurance premium costs, city fleet and Metro Transit fuel costs, debt service on city capital borrowing, and full funding for staffing the new far east side fire station, the city will also be funding four elections in 2014, according to the release.
Soglin said taking all of those cost factors into account the Finance Department projects a gap between revenue and expenditures.
The gap is smaller than 2012 and 2013, Soglin said, but the city still needs to look for savings.
Sogling said he hopes departments will be able to maintain essential city services as well as address issues relating to poverty in Madison while looking for possible savings.
“Boosting employment and stabilizing neighborhoods are key elements in strengthening our community, which will help our city budget in the long run,” said Soglin.