Toledo city council member expresses concern over mayor’s proposed budget
The concern is over how much spending the city is doing — even when it doesn’t have the money.
TOLEDO, Ohio — The start of a new year means the start of efforts to generate a new budget for cities across the country — which includes the city of Toledo. And already, there are concerns.
During a one-on-one interview on last week’s Community Focus, Toledo City Councilwoman At-Large Katie Moline, a certified public accountant, expressed concerns over the city of Toledo’s structural deficit (it’s spending of more money than it actually has).
She says that this is an issue only exacerbated by inflation, and could force tough decisions to be made in the future. Moline says that for now, she understands why this deficit may not be getting the attention you’d expect for something that could have such an impact on the city’s financial stability in the future.
“It doesn’t really come to light because we have other sources of revenue, such as an influx of federal funds that we’ve all heard about- this ‘Biden money.’ The city was no different. We received $180 million, and so we’ve used that to offset costs, but that will run out at some point.”
- Toledo City Councilwoman At-Large Katie Moline
The proposed budget revenue and expenditures total approximately $996 million, with a general fund budget of approximately $324 million. Mayor Kapszukiewicz has proposed transferring $18 million of capital improvement funds to the general fund and an $8 million reduction in the general fund balance. Kapszukiewicz, in his proposal to council members, reminded them that the city conservatively budgeted an $18 million transfer in 2022, as well, but ended up not having to transfer any money at all.
The city projects this year’s general fund income tax revenue to exceed $222 million. That’s up from last year’s budgeted $215 million.
Council must finalize a new budget by March 31st. Moline says she does believe that will happen. Now I have reached out to a City of Toledo spokesperson to speak with Deputy Mayor Abby Arnold, to get her perspective on the matter. I’ll provide our conversation once it happens.