Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski released her proposed 2019 budget on Monday. It includes increased funding in four key areas.
The mayor presented her budget at the city’s Streets and Sanitation Division office. The echoey cement building was surrounded outside by orange city maintenance trucks. Her point was to emphasize several new funding priorities. They include over $7 million for street repairs and over $5 million to enact the city’s transit plan including a high-frequency bus network on major roads.
"These routes connect major employment, education and residential areas throughout the city and are critical to developing a culture of transit in Salt Lake City," Biskupski said.
The mayor’s two other big priority areas are public safety and affordable housing. She’d like to add 50 new police officers to the city’s department in coming years.
Another $4 million is focused on affordable housing, including money to incentivize building more affordable units in mixed-income developments.
The money to pay for these priorities would come from a proposed sales tax increase, on non-food items that would amount to about a nickel for every $10 spent. The mayor said it would generate $33 million during average years.
"Should we get that funding passed, then you will see the tremendous opportunity we have to really create the city we have all desired to have," she said.
The city council will vote on the proposed tax increase on Tuesday.