Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan lays out priorities in new budget proposal

Proposal suggests more spending, some job cuts

The fiscal year is about to end in a couple of months and that means it’s budget season for the City of Detroit. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gave city council his budget proposal and it included more spending and some job cuts. It’s a new era at Detroit City Hall. Six new council members, a new majority really. But there is the specter of the bankruptcy agreement and of state oversight kicking back in if they veer off into overspending.

DETROIT – The fiscal year is about to end in a couple of months and that means it’s budget season for the City of Detroit.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gave city council his budget proposal and it included more spending and some job cuts.

It’s a new era at Detroit City Hall. Six new council members, a new majority really. But there is the specter of the bankruptcy agreement and of state oversight kicking back in if they veer off into overspending.

Duggan said everyone needs to stay calm and spend very carefully.

“What we are presenting today is a post-crisis budget, post-COVID budget. It’s really a return to normal,” Duggan said.

Duggan presented what he called the 8th balanced budget in a row, something Detroit was not known for before the bankruptcy. Federal COVID funding kept the city afloat the last couple of years and it’s run out.

Duggan is proposing a $1.2 billion budget for 2023. It’s about $77 million more than last year.

“Last year we had 10,600 employees in the budget the council adopted. This year’s proposal is 10,500 employees. This is not an increase. This is basically the way we’re going to have to operate long-term and it’s going to be tight,” Duggan said.

The city is still struggling with a big problem. COVID keeping many who work in the city at home, which is dropping its income tax revenues quite low.

Duggan said fortunately the internet gaming law went into effect and the city was able to make a deal with Lansing for some of that gambling cash, which is making up for that lost income tax money.

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The proposed budget totals more than $2 billion, including $1 billion for the General Fund. It also makes targeted new investments:

  • $90 million for the Retiree Protection Fund ($5 million recurring increase, $30 million one-time), brings total balance to $460 million for annual pension contributions that resume in FY2024
  • $30.7 million deposit into the Rainy-Day Fund, for a total balance of $138 million, plus $20 million in additional deposits planned after FY2023 to maintain reserve rate
  • $72.3 million in General Fund support for DDOT transit service and the People Mover, $5.8 million increase, on top of $26.5 million restoration, to improve Paratransit Service and Vehicle Operations
  • $17.5 million for Blight Remediation and Beautification Programs
  • $10.7 million for Parks and Recreation Improvements
  • $10.4 million per year for Public Safety, Parks, and General Vehicle Replacements
  • $2.7 million extra for the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
  • $1.5 million extra for the Detroit Historical Museum
  • $2.3 million for Coleman A. Young International Airport Improvements, plus $1 million increase in operations to implement Airport Layout Plan

Click here to learn more about Detroit’s budget


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.