Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, on Monday, released the city's proposed 2013 operating budget while emphasizing the Glass City has brighter days ahead.
A forecast of $243.5 million in total general fund revenues has been set by the city's finance department. Nearly $164 million is expected in revenue from income taxes, a 3.4% growth over 2012.
In a statement released Monday, Bell said he understands 2013 will not be without fiscal challenges, but that "the city remains on a slow and steady path to economic recovery."
"When I took office in 2010 the city faced a deficit of $48 million," said Mayor Bell. "We faced the unthinkable prospect of having to lay off police officers and firefighters. This budget presents a far different story. We've continued to hire police and fire, held the line on taxes and fees, are providing the quality of life services our citizens deserve and have reestablished our rainy day fund."
In May of 2012, Mayor Bell announced that the cityhad achieved a balanced budget and managed to accumulate a $326,000 surplus. At that time, the mayor recognized "the unions" and taxpayers for making the "necessary steps" in order to get the Glass City back in the black.
In a stated commitment to public safety in Toledo, the Toledo Police Department will offer a civil service exam on Dec. 1. From that exam, 45 candidates will be selected to begin training in 2013. Toledo Fire and Rescue will also begin a new class of recruits on Dec. 3.
Bell has encouraged Toledo City Council to work together to solicit community input in the proposed 2013 budget. He has also asked that the group move swiftly to pass a budget by January in order to allow for greater monitoring of city funds.
City Council ultimately has until Mar. 31, 2013 to pass an operating budget.