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Tuesday November 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm

As released by the Office of the Mayor:

Mayor Thompson Introduces a Balanced Budget for the City of Harrisburg in 2012.

Small tax increase, lots of austerity planning.

The central challenge of my administration is to balance political reality with the urgent need for change. Delivering solvency, accountability and sustainable growth with integrity, are critical for a stable Harrisburg.

Despite looming incinerator debt and a long history of structural deficits, City Mayor Linda D. Thompson presented a balanced 2012 budget for the City of Harrisburg this evening, calling the budget a New Beginning for the financially-strapped state capital.

Mayor Thompson said the two problems currently facing the city: the crushing incinerator debt and the city's long accumulating structural deficits will be ameliorated by ongoing negotiation with the receiver and implementation of the mayor's 2012 balanced budget.

We are lean and mean right and actively building a credible and sustainable fiscal future for the city, Mayor Thompson said today.

Through the hard work and dedication of my department directors and their staffs, we are advancing the greater public good in Harrisburg. Addressing accumulated structural deficits, the Mayor said,

The City's long accumulating structural deficit will be balanced and eliminated by this administration in a well-managed series of budget adjustments commencing with the 2012 budget moving forward into 2013.

The Mayor said that austerity will be required and Council will also be charged with assuring that all revenue sources are maximized through the enactment of their ability to pass revenue-generating legislation. Discussing the city's incinerator debt Mayor Thompson said, My administration will work closely with the state receiver to protect city assets, and assure complete debt liquidation.

The Mayor added, By statute and relationships developed through the lengthy negotiation process, the Mayor of Harrisburg will continue to protect the assets and interests of the Citizens of this great city.

Mayor Thompson also called current levels of city staff performance outstanding. As we all know, since taking office in 2010 my administration has reduced operating cost by 20%. The Mayor said. We've eliminated more than 100 positions and reduced salaries by 10% compared to the previous administration.

We are now operating at bare minimum in terms of staffing. A wage and hiring freeze is in place. The Mayor said city personnel, pressed by fiscal restraints, which we are all aware of, continue to perform a very high standard of professionalism, protecting the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens, 24-seven, and 365 days a year.

The 2012 Budget, which is balanced with total revenues of $186,550,321 and total expenses of $186,550,321, includes a .8 mill property tax increase as the Act 47 plan called for earlier this year. The Budget also notes $66,957,914 construction projects in the city, producing more than 500 jobs and permit fees of $310,072. For more information about the 2012 proposed budget and a copy of the Mayor's 2012 Executive Budget Summary.

Photo/Natalie Cake

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