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INTERACTIVE: Explore the 2014 Minneapolis budget

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: August 13, 2014 - 7:23 AM

It's budget week in Minneapolis.

Mayor Betsy Hodges is slated to deliver her first budget this Thursday, in a speech that will likely propose concrete initiatives to advance her agenda of reducing racial disparities, growing the population and running the city more efficiently.

Now is a good time to understand just what comprises the $1.2 billion budget, which funds everything from sewer maintenance to housing inspections.

Use this interactive tool to explore how the money is spent and where it comes from.

Only about a third of the city's budget is comprised of the discretionary general fund, where the City Council spends most of its time making changes. About a third of the general fund is supported by property taxes.

The rest of the funds, including water and sewer utilities, are dedicated to specific purposes and generally have dedicated revenue.

Total spending has fallen about 4 percent since 2011, but general fund spending has risen by 21 percent. The total number of full-time employees, meanwhile, has dropped by 1.5 percent in the same period.

Largely because of the dedicated funds, the Public Works department spends more than any other in the city. They budgeted $52 million this year for managing water, for example, and $48 million for collecting and treating sanitary waste.

The Police Department has a larger staff, however, with funding for 985 full-time employees -- including non-sworn staff. That may not be a reflection of actual department staffing, since the city frequently plays catch-up with retirements.

Another major category is debt service, which comprised $122 million of the city's budget this year. A full breakdown of those costs was not available from the city's Finance Department.

Take a tour through the budget and leave any reflections in the comments below.

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