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New Salt Lake City budget builds up services – Possible bond vote in fall could address other needs

SALT LAKE CITY – The newly-approved annual budget for Utah’s capital builds up City services such as park maintenance, public safety, affordable housing, and public transportation. The $301 million general fund budget for 2018-19 was passed Tuesday night by the City Council on a 7-0 vote.

The SLC budget is funded primarily by the City’s ongoing general revenue sources such as property and sales taxes. A 0.5 percent sales tax increase authorized by the State Legislature and passed by the Council in May will help fund the additional or enhanced services. The Council is requiring a new tool for accountability and transparency to track these funds in the form of a dashboard at fundingourfutureslc.com/critical-needs-dashboard

A potential general obligation bond also is being considered to go on the ballot this fall to help fund street reconstruction.

“We are committed to tackling bedrock issues with this budget,” said Erin Mendenhall, Council Chair. “The budget funds many needed services and projects, and it works in concert with a possible fall bond vote that would fund major repairs to our road system.”

The City’s budget is the operating budget for delivering services, and includes the capital budget for major infrastructure projects.  The new fiscal year kicks off on July 1. Coming in the next year are additional public safety personnel, money to help with the city’s affordable housing stock, expanded bus routes, and maintenance for City streets. The Council added money for system wide park maintenance not originally in the Mayor’s budget proposal.

This year’s deliberations also ended with approved increases on public utility bills for wastewater treatment upgrades, and other public utility improvements. City employees, including police and fire personnel, will receive a raise. Learn more about the budget process at www.slccouncil.com

Council Members say public input on the budget has been valuable as residents have spoken at public hearings and sent in comments through email, phone calls, and social media. Three public hearings were held, starting in May after the Mayor made an initial budget recommendation to the Council.

At the Formal Meeting on June 12, the Council adopted the budgets for the City overall, the Redevelopment Agency, the Local Building Authority, plus budgets for the Library, Airport, and Public Utilities (storm water, sewer and water, and street lighting services). The adopted 2018-19 Fiscal Year Budget in its entirety will be available online here: www.slcgov.com/budget upon publication.

A Truth in Taxation Hearing, a public hearing required by the State, will be held on August 14 at 7 p.m. and completes the annual budget process.

Coming up this summer: The City has begun an information campaign on the General Obligation Bond vote that could be on the ballot this November. For information on the campaign, titled “Funding our Future” go here: fundingourfutureslc.com

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