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Gary Mayor To Lay Out Budget, Cut Fire and Police

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The mayor of Gary, Indiana is hosting a town hall meeting this evening to address residents concerns about the city’s whobbly finances. The city plans big cuts to police and fire departments in next year’s budget.

Gary is expected to be short by $30 million, almost half its budget, next year. The deficit’s caused in part by the state of Indiana’s imposition of a 1-percent cap on residential property taxes. Unless the state allows Gary to delay the tax cap, Mayor Rudy Clay says cuts in every area, including public safety, will come.

CLAY: With the economy the way it is, it’s going to be a tough year not only for Gary but for a lot of cities around the country.

Gary is set to lay off some 140 police and fire personnel, and 800 city employees, more than half the city workforce, within a year. The mayor is asking the state to phase in the tax cap over a three year period. Adding to the city’s woes are increasing crime, fewer residents and a declining industrial and commercial tax base.

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