Memphis city council approves operating budget - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis city council approves operating budget

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In the end, councilman Harold Collins proposed the cobbled together plan that was approved. The council chamber was packed. In the end, councilman Harold Collins proposed the cobbled together plan that was approved. The council chamber was packed.
In this operating budget is a $3.40 tax rate which is about a 4-cent increase over the certified rate. In this operating budget is a $3.40 tax rate which is about a 4-cent increase over the certified rate.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis city council finally approved an operating budget after debating for more than six hours Tuesday, and it means a tax increase for Memphians.

In this operating budget is a $3.40 tax rate which is about a 4-cent increase over the certified rate.

Although, this budget is in favor of most city employees as it restores a 4.6 percent pay cut. The 4.6 percent pay cut for city employees was instituted back in June of 2011, and many have fought it since.

This also includes 50 layoffs, but this is far fewer than what the council originally called for in the budget.

The council decided that there will be a 2.5 percent reduction of MPD staff, but they do not plan for this to interfere with public safety.

Various plans were voted on, voted down, and debated through the hearing.

In the end, councilman Harold Collins proposed the cobbled together plan that was approved.

"So while we can grapple over who takes what at the end of the day the winners are the employees, the citizens of Memphis ... and the people we serve," he said.

Action News 5's Jason Miles sat through the budget hearing. Read his updates from Twitter below:

9:39: Memphis council approves operating budget with 4.6% pay restoration, $3.40 tax rate, 50 layoffs

9:30: Fullilove wants assurance that police and fire would be untouched by layoffs. CAO Little says last place they'd look

9:23: Collins says he'd be willing to pay for his lunch for compromise on tax hike

9:20: Harold Collins plan back on the floor... After going down earlier

9:10: Morrison withdraws motion

9:09: Morrison proposing plan with no layoffs, 105 vacant positions eliminated. $3.35 ax rate, which will come in separate vote

8:32: Myron Lowery trying to eliminate weights & measures again, to try and "move things forward

8:31: Ford's budget plan passed earlier tonight, amended, failed.

8:28: Another proposed operating budget goes down in flames. Open for amendments again

8:20: Back and forth over layoff numbers, tax rate adjustments now

8:00: Council "cobbling" operating budget together from Ford and Collins plans. Biggest difference is layoff numbers

7:57: Council votes against shutting down weights & measures department, finding employees jobs elsewhere

7:54: Joe Brown says administration is "a lie" when it says it can find other jobs for fired employees

7:42: Wanda Halbert suggesting putting off weights & measures issue for a year

7:36: CAO George Little says just can't pluck employees and place somewhere else. Civil service requirements, etc need to be met

7:28: Mayor A C Wharton cannot commit to finding jobs for w&m employees within a short time frame. Will commit to long term goal

7:26: Weights & measures is the department that handles vehicle indirections, Memphis is the only city in TN that does them

7:24: Myron Lowery proposes finding new jobs for weights & measures employees, while eliminating department

7:21: Council back after 10 minute break that became 35 minute break.

6:49: Weights & Measures Dept, including some $500k, remains

6:30: Council votes against approving operating budget. Debate continues

6:08: Catered lunches for council will continue. Votes not there to reconsider

6:06: Council taking up catered lunches again. We're talking about only $8000, but symbolic. Harris wants to vote on cutting again

5:56: Weights & measures department funding restored

5:27: Memphis council must figure out how to pay for 4.6% pay restoration. 400 job cuts approved last week. Tax hike yet to come up

5:26: Memphis council votes to approve Chairman Ford's budget package which includes salary restoration

Memphis CAO George Little said this budget is something the administration can live with, and commended the council members for their hard work.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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