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Hodges’ 2015 Budget Includes A Tax Increase, Money For Affordable Housing

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges unveiled Thursday her 2015 budget proposal for the city.

She said her first budget focuses on equity, growth and running the city well. It also includes a property tax increase and a $3.5 million proposal to fund the Nicollet Mall redesign.

The budget invests strongly in public safety. The mayor wants to hire 10 more police officers, bringing the total number to 860. She also wants funding to implement body cameras for officers.

There’s also a $1 million proposal for additional community service officers to boost the diversity of the police force.

“I strongly support Chief Janeé Harteau’s strategy of getting officers out of squads and talking directly with our residents and business owners on our streets, corners and doorsteps,” the mayor said. “To do this essential work takes more time, and that requires more officers.”

Hodges is also proposing investment in more protected bike lanes.

She also wants $1 million more for affordable housing.

The mayor is seeking a property tax levy of 2.4 percent, that’s the largest increase in several years.

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