New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu delivered a proposed budget for 2013 to the City Council on Tuesday along with a warning that state spending cuts to higher education and health care will hinder the city’s return to prosperity.
“The state can’t seem to get it together,” Landrieu said. “This path of austerity will not lead to success. It will not make us stronger.
“It’s outrageous, but all we see in the near future is more, deep cuts, and some even with life-and-death consequences.”
The $491.4 million spending plan proposed by Landrieu for 2013 is $5 million less than the city had expected to spend in fiscal 2012 before a decline in revenue forced 4% budget cuts in discretionary spending.
Most city departments will see a decline of 8% to 10% from 2012 spending. Landrieu said his office budget would drop by 25%, from $9.1 million in 2012 to $6.8 million in 2013.
Landrieu said the city will issue $40 million of general obligation bonds in 2013 from an authorization approved by voters in 2004. The city will devote 70% of the proceeds to street maintenance projects.
Debt service will be $8 million less next year than in 2012 due to several refinancings, he said.
The $104 million capital budget includes $46.3 million of reimbursements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
New Orleans operates on a calendar fiscal year.