Proposed Trump budget could hurt funding for Minneapolis

Under President Trump’s budget, the City would get less funding for the Minneapolis Police Dept. and affordable housing.

Minneapolis City Council voted to deny Doran Companies  demolition of the commercial property building located at 1319 4th Street SE, which houses Mesa Pizza, Dinkytown Tattoo and Camdi Restaurant in Dinkytown.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Minneapolis City Council voted to deny Doran Companies’ demolition of the commercial property building located at 1319 4th Street SE, which houses Mesa Pizza, Dinkytown Tattoo and Camdi Restaurant in Dinkytown.

by Ryan Faircloth

President Donald Trump’s federal budget proposal may slash funding for several Minneapolis city operations.

City officials said the budget would cut funding to the Minneapolis Police Department, local affordable housing, job training and transportation. City workers presented an analysis of the Trump’s proposed budget at a Minneapolis City Council committee meeting Thursday.

Trump released his budget blueprint in March, detailing a $54 billion boost to military spending and cuts to other state departments.

The city receives roughly $1 million each year in competitive grant awards from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Matt Bower of the city’s Intergovernmental Relations Department said at the Thursday Intergovernmental Relations Committee meeting that these grants help fund MPD body cameras, equipment purchases and staff overtime.

But since the DOJ would see a 20 percent reduction in its budget, funding for local law enforcement would likely decrease, Bower said.

“The philosophy in this entire budget is basically, those that the locals could be funding, they should be funding, and the federal support shouldn’t be there,” he said.

Housing and Urban Development’s budget would be cut by 12 percent under Trump’s plan, including the elimination of the Community Development Block Grant Program and HOME Investment Partnerships.

The Community Development Block Grant Program is one of HUD’s longest-running efforts and helps fund affordable housing projects and economic opportunities for low-income earners. The HOME program also helps fund affordable housing.

HUD is the city’s largest federal funder, Bower said, and losing the initiatives would cost $12 million.

Ward 3 City Council Member Jacob Frey said in an interview that cuts could hurt local affordable housing investment.

The loss of community development block grants isn’t the only federal change that could hurt affordable housing, Frey said.

“We’re likely losing our 4 percent and 9 percent low-income tax credits that make up a substantial portion of our affordable housing subsidy,” he said.

The city would have to step up to fill the gap, Frey said.

Minneapolis would see additional losses in job training grants. Under the proposed budget, funding for the U.S. Department of Labor would be cut by 21 percent. The city receives around $2 million from the department annually in job training grants.

The city may also see cuts in transportation support due to federal grant elimination, which could affect the Southwest Light Rail Transit and Blue Line Extension projects.

The budget sends a message of “cities under attack,” said Ward 8 City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden at the meeting.

Although the budget blueprint is preliminary, Glidden said Trump’s proposal would have a negative impact on city operations.

“[The budget contains] some very big-picture proposals that would have tremendously draconian effects on a lot of the things that we do and on a lot of our residents’ lives,” she said.