Baltimore Mayor Unveils $4 Billion Budget Without Service Cuts Despite Initial Deficit Projections

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott presented his $4 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2025 on Monday, managing to avoid any service reductions despite earlier forecasts of a potential $100 million-plus deficit. The mayor’s budget plan closes an estimated $60 million gap through a combination of position eliminations and revenue increases.

Rather than slashing city services, Scott’s administration is cutting 89 long-vacant positions across various agencies and raising parking revenues to balance the budget. This approach allows maintaining current levels of public services like education, recreation, violence prevention efforts, vacant property remediation, and restoration of offerings like weekly recycling pickups.

“This preliminary budget reflects our priorities and balances the FY25 budget without any service reductions or layoffs, ensuring our city will be in a sound fiscal position as we navigate the challenges ahead,” Mayor Scott stated.

The mayor highlighted that initial deficit projections over $100 million were reduced substantially due to lower than expected costs from the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education funding formula and other budgetary estimates. Scott added that his proposal aims to preserve flexibility as Baltimore continues assessing the full financial impact of last week’s catastrophic Key Bridge collapse.

“Our city is bracing to endure a long road to recovery from the Key Bridge collapse, but Baltimoreans can be assured that my administration will do everything in our power to ensure our city remains strong in every way, including fiscally,” Scott affirmed.

Key investment areas in the budget include youth services, public safety, community clean-up and revitalization efforts, neighborhood development initiatives, and safeguarding the city’s resources. The Baltimore City Council will commence budget oversight hearings in late May, with the final spending plan required to be approved by the end of June.

Despite grappling with a sizable deficit forecast earlier in the budget cycle, Mayor Scott’s proposal prioritizes maintaining core services for residents through strategic position cuts and revenue increases rather than reducing citizen offerings. Baltimore’s FY2025 budget proposal aims to uphold fiscal responsibility while preserving quality of life priorities.