Additional property tax increase possible in 2010 budget

Omaha, NE – Omaha's 2010 budget includes $1 million for the purchase of new police cars, but no two and a half day furlough as Council members requested.

Mayor Jim Suttle announced his actions regarding the 2010 budget at a news conference Thursday morning. The City Council cut the police cruiser funding and approved a furlough for all employees. Mayor Suttle vetoed those items, putting $2.6 million back in to the budget. That could lead to a property tax increase of 4.2 cents instead of 2.4 cents as originally proposed. The City Council can keep the Mayor's vetoes in place or override them.

A satellite TV inspection tax approved by the Council is also in the budget plan. Suttle says city charter prohibited him from removing that budget item. The Mayor says he doesn't believe that plan is legal.

The 2010 budget restores library funding to 2008 levels. That's what Library Board officials requested when they began a community campaign to raise funds for this fiscal year. That community campaign has raised $130,000 so far. Anonymous donors offered $200,000 if city officials restored the library funding. Mayor Suttle applauded the library for its leadership and said he would honor their request for restored funding.

The budget is back before the City Council next Tuesday.