Mayor Tom Henry (D-Fort Wayne) says his upcoming budget proposal will not include any layoffs.
But FOX Fort Wayne has learned it will raise property taxes.
As Henry puts the final touches on next year's budget, he says city employees' jobs are safe.
“There will be no layoffs despite a 30 percent decrease in income tax revenue,” said Henry.
Henry credits city leaders with planning well for tough times and for doing more with less. But the mayor's budget will call for a property tax increase. Joe Fox, spokesman for Mayor Henry, says the total city tax rate could go up as much as 2.9 percent—about three cents per thousand dollars.
“As it has every year, for the past, I think it’s seven or eight years, it will go up a very small number,” said Fox.
But FOX Fort Wayne discovered that’s not quite true. In 2007 and 2008, property tax rates actually went down slightly. They dropped significantly in 2003.
If next year’s tax rate jumps about three percent, that would mean a $3 increase on a $100,000 home.
“People aren’t going to see very much difference,” said Fox.
The mayor also says he wants council to consider giving city employees a pay raise.
“We are going to ask them to consider our employees as well in the process and try to take care of those who have consistently done more with less,” said Henry.
But City Councilwoman Liz Brown (R-at-Large) doesn't support that.
“To give raises in this economy at this time just flies in the face of what everyone else in
Brown says other companies are struggling just to keep people at work.
“People are still laid off. The recession is still here in
The mayor will present his full budget proposal next week, and Council will have the final say.
After this story aired, Mayor Tom Henry's spokesman, Joe Fox, corrected his statement about the property tax increase.
Fox says property taxes will go up slightly, but they are based on a change in the levy that comes from the state, not a change in the rate. He says the levies are capped at 2.9 percent of the current rate.
Fox says it is not technically a tax increase.