Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak this week proposed a 2012 budget that cuts spending and jobs to hold the city’s property tax levy steady while increasing debt issuance for street improvements.

Spending would rise by about 1% over the 2011 budget while 90 positions would be cut. To address the “slow deterioration of our streets,” Rybak proposed a 40% increase in the five-year capital plan that would bolster project spending by $57 million with a focus on arterial street improvements. The city would borrow to cover the projects.

“We should think of a poorly maintained street itself as a debt that we pass on to future generations,” he said.

Rybak touted his stewardship of city finances during his budget address Monday, highlighting the city’s avoidance of fiscal one-shots and a spending cut of 8% compared to a decade ago. He also said Minneapolis has cut 10% of its workforce and paid off $183 million of debt.

The city’s $1 billion of outstanding general obligation debt carries top credit marks from all three rating agencies.

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