Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Key Takeaways from the New City Budget

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 11:19 AM

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The Memphis City Council approved Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s proposed 2019 budget Tuesday after less than an hour of debate.


The budget focuses heavily on public safety, youth programs, and infrastructure improvements. There’s no property tax hike in the budget, instead the rate, $3.19 per $100 of a property’s assessed value, is 8 cents lower than last year (but keeps taxes flat after a recent property-value reappraisal here).


Here are four key takeaways from the upcoming budget:


Public safety


The budget allocates $1.5 million to increase Memphis Police Department personnel, funding two large or three mid-sized recruiting classes. The funds will also cover the costs of promotional tests for police officers and firefighters, which is a key retention strategy of the departments. More security cameras will also be added throughout the city.


Infrastructure


About $19 million will be used to repave city streets. This is double what the city spent just four years ago for street pavings, Strickland said.


City Employee Pay


The budget also $2.4 million to increase all full-time city employees’ pay to $15.50 an hour. Additionally, $1.4 million will be used for targeted pay raises to employees who are making under market value.


Parks and Youth


This year’s budget invests $500,000 more than last year’s in new library programming, $1.3 million more in parks, and $300,000 into the Office of Youth Services, in order to increase youth summer jobs from 1,250 to 1,500.

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