Frey's budget increases spending, including for police
Mayor Jacob Frey's 2023 budget calls for a 6.5% increase in the tax levy to help pay for more police, affordable housing, and to re-staff city departments that lost employees during the pandemic.
Driving the news: Frey unveiled his budget proposal Monday.
The big picture: The overall budget of $1.56 billion is down 4% due to the absence of American Rescue Act funding from 2022.
- Frey pitched a two-year budget for the first time, noting that the City Council will be able to change the 2024 budget next year.
- A levy increase of 6.5% would mean the owner of a median priced home in the city ($319,000) would see a $167 increase on the city portion of their annual property tax bill.
- The budget funds a sworn police force of 731, though the city has already been budgeting for more officers than it actually employs. Fox 9 reports that the city had 900 sworn officers in early 2020 and bottomed out at 564 officers this summer.
- Frey's budget includes money for four cadet classes totaling 160 recruits, but again, the city has not been able to fill up its recent cadet classes amidst a nationwide struggle to find officers.
- The recommended budget adds money for affordable housing and the expansion of the behavior crisis response team — unarmed units that respond to nonviolent incidents.
What's ahead: The City Council will hold public hearings and make changes to the budget over the next four months before it's adopted in mid-December.
Go deeper: Read the full budget recommendation.
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