May 3, 2022
Meeting the needs of a growing city and increased demands on City government are the central components of Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s 2023 proposed budget, which she presented to the City Council Tuesday.
“Today we find ourselves in a unique economic position with a growing economy, rising population, and inflation. But, we also find ourselves at a position of never before seen demand for city services,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “Our city is in high demand. And with these investments we will be better able to shape the growth for the good of our residents.”
With a continued focus on her key pillars of addressing growth, sustainability, supporting communities, and City family, the general fund budget recommendation of $424,106,914 includes significant investment in affordable housing, homelessness, public lands, public safety, and environmental protection.
Included is a massive $21 million commitment to affordable housing, which can create up to 1,000 units.
The majority of that funding would be dedicated to deeply affordable housing.
“I’m proposing that the majority of those dollars be prioritized for extremely low-income households with a focus on people and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness,” she said. “This is not only an investment in housing stock, it’s an investment for our residents who are facing housing instability and those who may be unhoused today.”
Salt Lake City’s continued growth presents both great opportunities and challenges, Mayor Mendenhall said. Salt Lake City’s resident population continues to grow, as does its daytime population that nearly doubles in size. Departments citywide have been managing the growing demand on their services.
A few examples include:
- This fiscal year, the Building Services Division has processed $2.8 billion in permits, up from $1.4 billion in the previous fiscal year.
- While citywide crime is down 15%, Salt Lake City 911 Dispatch is receiving more calls for service than ever, logging 127,000 in 2021, which was 5,000 more than in 2020.
- 43% of Salt Lake City residents report using parks more frequently since the pandemic began and 41% of residents report using trails more frequently.
To respond to resident needs, Mayor Mendenhall is proposing a 4.9% property tax increase, equivalent to about 10 dollars per month for the median-priced home in Salt Lake City. It’s the first property tax increase proposed by the City since 2014.
“We were so fortunate to have had federal CARES dollars and President Biden’s Rescue Plan dollars come in as one-time support to help fill the gaps in revenue we suffered during the last two years and help our residents and businesses get the support they desperately needed. And though our revenues have increased, they have not risen at the same pace as the demands have for our city.”
Mayor Mendenhall also proposed a general obligation bond for consideration by City Council to be placed on the ballot this fall, which, if approved by voters, would provide $80,000,000 toward transformational projects for Salt Lake City’s parks and public lands from the city’s Reimagine Nature Public Lands Master Plan.
There are also additional revenue streams generated in this budget proposal through sales tax bond capacity realized from paying off the Steiner Ice Sheet bond.
Additional Funding Our Future sales tax revenue will also be utilized for parks and public lands maintenance.
Read the Mayor’s address in English here.
Read the Mayor’s address in Spanish here.Tags: Mayor Erin Mendenhall