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Mayor Gloria releases ‘Ready to Rebuild’ budget focused on infrastructure and core services

The City’s Department of Finance is projecting total general fund revenues will be up 8.2%, or $143.3 million, over the current fiscal year.

SAN DIEGO — Mayor Todd Gloria released his $4.89 billion Fiscal Year 2023 proposed budget, that include investments in repairing aging infrastructure, improving the speed and quality of City of San Diego services, enforcing new regulations such as those addressing sidewalk vending and short-term rentals, enhancing pay and facilities for police, lifeguards and firefighters, addressing homelessness, and ensuring employee compensation is competitive in order to fill vacancies in key roles that deliver critical services to San Diegans.

“Budgets are statements of priorities, and this plan prioritizes a healthy fiscal future for San Diego with investments that protect and enhance quality of life for all of our residents,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “We’re making sure we have personnel to perform the work to address the backlog of repairs to streets, park facilities and sidewalks, and to fix the storm drains that keep our beaches and waterways clean. We’re playing the long game with this budget – thinking about how this year’s spending decisions affect San Diego’s financial position five years from now and making sure our city stays on a course toward true stability in every respect.” 

According to the mayor’s office, the budget reflects an improved financial outlook as economic activity recovers, with revenues up over the last fiscal year and poised to continue to grow.

The City’s Department of Finance is projecting total general fund revenues will be up 8.2%, or $143.3 million, over the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Property tax revenue is forecast to be up 4.1%, or $27.8 million; Transient Occupancy Tax is expected to grow by $36.7 million, or 38.5%; franchise fees from energy and telecommunications utilities will grow by $17.6 million, or 22%; and sales tax is expected to be up more than 15%, or $48.5 million, over last year’s figures.

“In this next year’s budget, I’m gratified to see the continued investment in supporting our public safety personnel, which is coming at a critical time,” said City Councilmember Chris Cate, who represents District 6 and chairs the Council’s Budget and Government Efficiency Committee. “Additionally, of all the issues I hear about from District 6 residents, infrastructure is consistently a top priority. The Mayor’s budget will help address and bolster these significant issues, all of which impact San Diegans every day.”

Long-term planning was a theme in the development of the Mayor’s proposed budget, with investments in stormwater to comply with more stringent state water-quality laws and to repair failing or damaged storm drains and pumps that prevent flooding and water pollution. The budget includes $8.8 million to prepare for a major stormwater infrastructure overhaul over the next several years using low-interest federal loans; $4.1 million for pump station repairs and maintenance; $4.1 million for additional street sweeping; and $1.4 million to educate residents on how to avoid common inadvertent pollution.

The plan funds key neighborhood priorities, including investments in improving Parks & Recreation services, with an additional $4.3 million over the prior year’s budget dedicated to recruitment and training of workers and addressing high staff turnover and vacancies by converting hourly staff to salaried positions – an approach used successfully to improve Library Department staffing and services this year.

The mayor’s office says that building on last year’s investments in street repair, the FY23 budget adds $8 million to improve streets with upgraded traffic signals, sidewalks and curb ramps, traffic management, tree maintenance and graffiti and weed removal. The Capital Improvements budget also dedicates over $77 million to street resurfacing.

The proposed budget lays out spending to continue to address homelessness, with an additional $13.6 million dedicated to increasing shelter capacity, services and coordinated street outreach. Total funding for homelessness services is $63.3 million in this budget, with two-thirds of that sum coming from state and federal grant programs.

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