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.

2011 Timeline


  • 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.