MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges finally revealed her budget plan for 2018 on Tuesday including a proposal for a 5.5 percent property tax levy increase for the upcoming year.
Hodges’ budget and the address she gave in presenting it covered a laundry list of progressive talking points and policy plans. The budget has a total price tag of $1.8 billion.
Almost $6 million in total will be spent on efforts to use non-fossil fuel sources of energy, improve businesses’ climate effects, and increase energy efficiency in commercial and residential areas of Minneapolis. This is roughly a 60 percent increase compared with the 2014 budget the year Hodges assumed office.
Hodges also proposes that $24 million be invested in a number of housing programs, and dedicates $1.2 million as an “investment to protect and support the constitutional rights of every single qualified voter in the City of Minneapolis.”
Hodges’ budget address also included a full assault on President Donald Trump, as she blamed him for a number of problems Minneapolis is facing under her direction.
“Minneapolis is facing a challenge that we couldn’t have conceived of a year ago,” Mayor Hodges said. “Though we are shocked by the damage he does every day of his presidency, we have to anticipate that Donald Trump will remain in the White House through 2020. In the next three and a half years he can wreak untold damage to our country with his authoritarian tactics and his policies of oppression and suppression. Once he was elected, we knew it would be a disaster for our country, but even just six months in, it’s already far more disastrous than we anticipated.”
Hodges believes that Trump is coming after “our diversity, our right to vote, our artists, our independent media, our workers” with his policies.
A further $4 million will be invested in efforts “to build community trust and ensure public safety.” This includes $300,000 for expanded use of body cameras on police officers, and $734,000 to fund eight new community liaison positions in the Minneapolis Police Department.