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3 takeaways from Mayor Ted Wheeler’s proposed budget

The outgoing mayor’s final budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 is significantly larger than last year’s due to utility rate increases.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler signs a document sitting at a large desk with a small Portland flag on it.

The mayor’s proposed budget fully covers the costs of public safety services like police, fire, and 911.

Photo via City of Portland

Mayor Ted Wheeler has released an $8.2 billion proposed budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year — $1 billion more than last year’s — amid anticipated shortfall struggles exacerbated by high inflation rates. The money will fund services provided by city bureaus and approx. 7,500 employees.

The proposed budget relies heavily upon revenue from the voter-approved Portland Clean Energy Fund to supplement the city’s general fund by about $820 million and finance projects like transitioning the city’s vehicle fleet from gas to electric.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the budget’s priorities.

Small business relief

Prosper Portland, the city’s economic development agency, would receive $700,000 under Wheeler’s plan to create a small business office. This would consolidate the agency’s programs and finance three new jobs whose purpose would be connecting business owners with support services and resources. The budget also allocates $500,000 for Prosper Portland to use in supporting businesses with one-time repairs for damages and vandalism.

Streamlining permits

Wheeler’s budget includes $4.5 million to support the city’s plan to create a single office in charge of handling permitting across all bureaus. The money would fund the process and necessary technology improvements needed to launch the office.

Street Response

Portland Street Response, a non-police intervention program that responds to behavioral health and mental health calls, is slated to receive $7.4 million. Wheeler wants the program, which was previously funded by grant money and operated out of Portland Fire & Rescue, to be moved to the Office of Public Safety.

Community members can comment on the budget proposal at a public hearing Thursday, May 9.