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Police, firefighter positions cut in Mayor Barrett's budget proposal

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett began his address saying the city is going strong, but this isn't the budget he wanted to release.

The Mayor proposes cutting 33 police and 75 firefighter positions. There would be no layoffs, but vacant positions would not be filled.

There is also a proposed 3.7 percent increase in property taxes. Barrett says the budget does a good job cutting city healthcare costs and limits borrowing, but he also says a $22 million increase in fire and police pension payments is making it more difficult to fund services. 

"What we are doing is we are not really lessening the amount of money we are putting into police and fire, but unfortunately it's going toward pension payments instead of direct services," Barrett said. "I would rather have that money go to direct services. That's why you're seeing the cuts you are seeing right now"

The budget needs to be approved by the common council. There will be a public hearing on Oct. 9. The budget is scheduled to go into effect on Nov. 10.

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