Students who pay parking tickets late may soon notice an increased late fee as a result of a new budget proposed for the city of Ann Arbor.
In addition to cuts in funding to the University, the state is also decreasing its funding to the city of Ann Arbor. The Ann Arbor City Council met last week to discuss the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Mayor John Hieftje said the city is losing a total of $1.2 million from the state for the next fiscal year. This includes decreases in state revenue sharing, part of the state revenue sharing program, which distributes a portion of state earnings from sales tax to local governments.
“This is very significant to us,” Hieftje said. “Not only did we lose state revenue but we also lost much of our funding that we received from the state.”
Hieftje said the cuts to funding include $450,000 in fire protection money for the University that the state provided before.
“We’re in a strong enough financial position that we’ll be able to absorb that into our budget and still be balanced for the next year,” he said.
“This is only possible because we started two years ago to reduce the size of our workforce with a very successful early retirement program,” he added.
City Administrator Roger Fraser proposed a budget plan to the City Council last week, in which he laid out a plan for a balanced budget without layoffs.
Fraser said that in addition to cuts in state funding, the city will be affected by increased costs, especially in health care insurance for employees.
The city had originally considered making across-the-board cuts of 5 or 10 percent. But Fraser said such a plan would have required making layoffs.
“What we are doing is finding some other ways of increasing revenues. … That includes increasing fees,” he said.
Fraser said this includes increases in late fees for parking violation, which he is recommending to be raised to $25. He also said the city would adjust about 10 other fees by 2.5 percent, which will bring in a total of about $250,000 in increased revenue.
A formal budget presentation will take place on April 21 and will be voted on in May.