The 2012 East Baton Rouge city-parish budget is a largely standstill proposal, growing less than half a percent compared to the current year’s budget.

Mayor-President Kip Holden presented his proposed budget of $745 million to a handful of Metro Council members on Friday.

The city-parish’s 2012 general fund budget, which funds most city-parish operations, is $280.5 million — an increase of 1.67 percent, or $4.6 million, over the 2011 general fund.

Any increases in revenues will be absorbed by the climbing costs of health insurance, retirement contributions and merit and longevity raises, Holden said.

“This budget provides for workforce at current levels, funding for the rising cost of benefits for employees, and funding for all other commissions,” he said.

Holden noted the city-parish has not yet been forced to lay off employees, require employees to take furloughs, or to end merit and longevity pay increases.

Most employees receive a 3 percent merit increase, until they reach a step ceiling. Employees receive longevity increases of 1 percent after working for the city-parish for 10 years.

The Metro Council is expected to hold budget hearings with city-parish staff before the final council meeting of the year on Dec. 14.

At the council meeting, the Metro Council can make line-item changes to Holden’s budget before accepting it.