Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski today released two budgets to the Salt Lake City Council. The first budget has recommendations for the general fund and the second financial plan offers proposals if the Salt Lake City Council increases the sales tax.
Salt Lake City is expected to generate $275.5 million in revenues for the 2019 fiscal year general fund, a one percent growth from fiscal year 2018. Salt Lake City is expected to raise $25 million if the proposed sales tax increase passes.
The Mayor’s general budget accounts for $2 million in cuts, vacancy savings and operation efficiencies. The budget provides money for Operation Rio Grande, homeless services, maintenance and repair projects on City infrastructure and a three percent salary adjustment and rising health care costs for City employees.
Mayor BIskupski also offers some other specific recommendations, including:
- One-time spending of $360,000 for parks, trails, open space and cleanup projects.
- One-time spending of $250,000 for fire equipment so the City can keep its elite insurance designation, potentially saving on homeowners’ insurance bills.
- $30,000 increase to the Salt Lake City Arts Council to support local artists.
- One-time spending of $33,000 to the YWCA to complete a domestic violence study.
- $30,000 to the Bicycle Collective’s Goodwill Bikes program, which provides bikes and local bike shop jobs for those in need.
Mayor Biskupski says the City will be an even better place to live and work if the Salt Lake City Council approves the Funding Our Future tax proposal. The proposed 0.5 percent sales tax increase that would add five cents for every $10 spent.
“The Funding our Future proposal recognizes the values of our residents and is an opportunity for the Capital City to control its own destiny,” says Mayor Biskupski. “The funding option addresses the issues of affordable housing, transit, neighborhood safety, street repairs and clean air.”
The sales tax increase is expected to generate $25 million during the current fiscal year with collections beginning in the fall, and $33 million annually in subsequent years. Mayor Biskupksi has several recommendations on how the funds could be used with the Funding our Future budget, including:
- $7.1 million for roadway, sidewalk and pavement infrastructure projects.
- $5.9 million for public safety to hire more officers, staff members, buy equipment and address retention issues through salaries and benefits adjustments.
- $4.1 million to create affordable housing, rent assistance and programs that help individuals who are moving from homelessness to housing.
- $5.3 million for public transit, including creating a high-frequency bus network along 2100 South, 900 South, 200 South and either 600 North or 1000 North. Busses would travel more frequently, have longer hours of service and operate seven days a week on these routes. The transit budget also includes programs to help residents connect better to bus routes from their home and work.
“The Funding Our Future proposal will place a great responsibility on me, the Council and future leaders,” adds Mayor Biskupski. “One which we take seriously.”
The Salt Lake City Council is expected to vote on the sales tax increase on May 1 and budget deliberations will continue through June. The Mayor’s full budget proposal will be posted at www.slcgov.com/budget.