Kansas City’s fire department would get millions more dollars but city employees would face a wage freeze and some layoffs under a budget proposal released Thursday by City Manager Troy Schulte and Mayor Sly James.
Schulte said that after years of recession and painful spending cuts, the latest budget scenario is a little rosier. Sales and earnings tax collections are up, although property taxes are flat and gambling and other collections are down.
Personnel expenses continue to outpace the money coming in, requiring constraints on raises. Every 1 percent raise costs the city general fund about $2.7 million.
“It got a little easier,” Schulte said in an interview Thursday, “but in order to make it a little easier, it required the sacrifice of the one-year wage freeze across the board. If we hadn’t had that, we would have had massive cuts in operations.”