Mayor Ted Wheeler has released a $7.1 billion budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, which funds services provided by 28 city bureaus and 7,299 employees. Let’s break it down by the main priorities.
In order to treat unhoused people and connected substance abuse and mental health issues, the budget dedicates $43.3 million to continue operating over 400 congregate shelter beds. Additionally, 625 new units of affordable housing are expected in 2023.
An emphasis on hiring within the Portland Police Bureau will be boosted by $5.3 million of ongoing dollars to bring on 300 new officers and add 43 new sworn officer positions by the end of FY 2024-25. There will also be funding for stolen vehicle recovery efforts and theft investigation/prosecution.
Additionally, $2.6 million will be allocated to reinstate Portland Fire and Rescue’s rapid response vehicle and maintain Portland Street Response — a Portland Fire & Rescue program which helps those experiencing mental health crises.
Economic recovery + livability
The mayor’s office outlines the reduction of urban camping, trash collection, and graffiti abatement as key aspects of the city’s post-pandemic recovery and will maintain current service levels for supporting programs — like SOLVE — by allocating $21.7 million.
In November 2022, Portlanders voted to overhaul the city’s current form of government. To date, $9.5 million has been spent on staffing, consulting, and education to implement ranked choice voting, a 12-person City Council, and other changes come January 1, 2025.
Rate and fee increases
As a measure against inflation and increasing construction costs on projects like the Bull Run filtration facility, there is a proposed rate increase for water and sewer services of 6.59%. This would mean an annual increase of $106.80 for a typical single-family unit.
The council will have a work session for the proposed budget on Tuesday, May 9 from 9-11:30 a.m., which will be available online. After that, there will be a City Budget Hearing on Thursday, May 11 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., also available online.
Both meetings are open to the public. Read up on how to prepare to attend a council meeting in City Hall.
The vote to adopt the final budget is planned for June.