The main theme of the 2012 budget has been the ineffectiveness of cuts. City employment fell by 27% since 2005, pension costs rose by more than 40% in the past four years, to $391 million. Bing had until June 2 to veto or approve the budget; the council can override his veto with a supermajority of six votes by June 6. The new fiscal year began July 1.
- The Detroit Public Library misunderstands the budget projections and begins plans to shut a third of branches. Weeks later, the City corrects misconceptions and the Library decides no cuts are necessary.
- 19 May: Council proposes $65M in cuts, including for police, fire, DDOT, and several museums. The Police budget is cut by $8M. Council is worried that Bing's budget relies on revenue from new casino taxes, which require State legislative approval.
- 19: Bing announces agreements with the two major City unions to smooth pension plan payments over seven years, instead of five or three, resulting in around $60M in savings.
- 24: Bing announces he will veto Council's proposed budget, saying its numbers would lead to 200 police layoffs.
- 1 June: Bing vetoes the budget, and Council promises to override.
- 6: Council overrides the veto, with James Tate as the only opposing vote. Council's smaller budget is ostensibly to show that Detroit does not need an emergency financial manager.
- 13: The Mayor's office releases information on possible cuts, including returning $100M in Federal transportation money, eliminate Sunday bus service, prevent 40 police hires, and cut the police community service unit, among other cuts.
- 14: Bing counter-offers $20M in cuts, citing $20M in escrow from DTE and $10M expected from state revenue sharing.
- 27: It is unclear if Bing's budget has enough votes to pass in Council.
- 28: The Council votes 7-2 to reject cuts of $20M proposed by the mayor. JoAnn Watson and James Tate dissented. Bing refuses to submit an amendment that would leave $30M in cuts, forcing the Council to cut $50M.
- 30: Council votes 7-2 to pass a compromise budget with $25M in cuts. Ken Cockrel Jr and Gary Brown dissent.