The City of Sacramento has released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2023/24, which represents the City’s financial plan for the upcoming year starting July 1.
The budget totals $1.5 billion for operations and capital improvement projects. It supports 5,074 full-time positions and is balanced.
City Manager Howard Chan has described it as a “recovery and rightsizing budget,” one that reflects the City’s post pandemic operational needs and supports the overall vision articulated by the City Council.
“Sacramento has continued to recover from the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are pleased that the worst of the pandemic’s fiscal impacts are behind us,” Chan said in his transmittal letter to the Mayor and City Council. “However, economic headwinds persist due to rising inflation and interest rates and the overall slowing of economic growth.
“This proposed plan reflects prudent investments in staffing and programs to reflect community needs and support Council’s priority initiatives, which include but are not limited to, creating affordable housing opportunities, ensuring the continued support and stability of our workforce, the key to delivering all of our City’s programs and services, and ensuring that programs and services are delivered safely, efficiently and effectively.”
Key elements in this proposed budget include the ongoing funding for the Department of Community Response, continued funding for the affordable housing fee waiver program, the launch of the Sacramento Fire Department’s “single role” paramedic/EMT program (which will create a more effective career pathway for members of the community), and the establishment of the Children’s Fund project as required by Measure L.
With the increase in services offered over the past years — including the City’s ongoing response to the homelessness crisis – the City projects that expenses will surpass available funding in fiscal year 2024/25.
In addition, the City in the coming months will be negotiating new labor contracts with its recognized employee organizations, and the Council has stated publicly it expects to approve salary increases to support the City’s workforce and address issues with hiring and retention. These new contracts will have a significant impact on the City’s ongoing financial outlook and are not reflected in the proposed budget.
As the City looks to address future deficits, the City Council will be asked to further prioritize funding for programs and services.
The proposed budget is scheduled to go to the Budget and Audit Committee and to the City Council on May 9, followed by a month of hearings and an anticipated June 13 adoption.
Here is the budget hearing schedule: