Aug 16, 2022 - News

Frey's budget increases spending, including for police

Jacob Frey

Photo: Nicholas Pfosi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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.

Highlights include...

  • 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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