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Five changes proposed for Mayor's 2017 budget

Posted at 4:52 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 18:28:16-04

So far, almost half a dozen changes to the proposed budget have been turned in by the Omaha City Council.  The largest financially still is putting more money towards roads.

Members of the city council have submitted 5 budget amendments to the mayor's 2017 fiscal proposal.  The changes include keeping the city lobbyist in the council office, adding funds to re-connect, the pace program, and a summer day-camp.

"Look at our numbers in the summertime for violence in Omaha and look at the rest of the country. i think that speaks for itself,” Council President Ben Gray described. “Because the numbers are great, the numbers are going down, gun violence is down, homicides are down, most of our violent crimes are down, and in the summer when most of those numbers are up in larger cities they're down in our community."

Mayor Stothert says none of the funding increases for programs were discussed between she and the council previously.

The mayor wants to decrease property taxes by 2%, or $5 for every $100,000 of property valuation.

Councilman Chris Jerram and Ben Gray want a half percent of that to go back into road improvements, which is close to $800,000.

Mayor Stothert says she would veto that proposal if it were to pass with a super majority.

"If there's anything I hear on a daily basis it's keep me safe, reduce my property taxes, and fix my roads.  In my budget that I proposed we are fixing the roads and we added a lot more money to the road resurfacing budget,” Mayor Stothert explained.

Mayor Stothert says they're managing the budget very well and not cutting back on any city services.

"To have a budget as large as the city's budget is and have this few of amendments i think it shows that the process is working very well,” Mayor Stothert concluded.

Any other amendments would have to be drafted by Monday, and the council will discuss them on Tuesday.  Four votes are needed for any of the changes to be passed, except using property tax relief for roads which would need 5 votes.