Boise seeks to increase its 2022 budget to meet service requests
After a conservative 2021 budget, in which the city did not increase its base budget, city staff recommended that Boise this year take the maximum base increase of 3%.
BOISE, Idaho – Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the Idaho Press.
The Town of Boise will propose a 3% budget increase for the next fiscal year, to increase staff and meet the growing demand for services caused by growth.
After a conservative 2021 budget, in which the city did not increase its base budget, city staff recommended that Boise this year take the maximum base increase of 3% allowed by state law . Boise’s FY2021 budget was roughly $ 240 million.
“Three percent is really needed to maintain service levels and keep pace with growth,” budget manager Eric Bilimoria told Boise city council at a budget workshop on Tuesday.
The workshop presented the budgetary priorities of each municipal service for the fiscal year 2022. A priority for the city as a whole is the hiring of new employees. Courtney Washburn, chief of staff to the mayor’s office, said the city needed to add 39 new full-time positions across a range of departments, including the Police Department, requiring more than a dozen new officers.
“The position’s growth rate has not kept up with population growth,” Washburn said.
Last year, the city increased its full-time employees by nine, 19 less than the average increase of the previous four years. As a result, the workload of current staff – both in internal support services, such as information technology and human resources, and in external services, such as the police – has increased, said Washburn.
The proposed staff increases include 14 employees for the various support services (4 employees from the finance department, 4 from IT and 3 from the legal department, among others). Four new employees of the Community Engagement Office are also proposed as well as 13 new police officers.
Deputy Police Chief Ron Winegar told the council that in addition to recruiting challenges – two police academies this year have attracted insufficient numbers of recruits – and an upcoming “generational retreat,” the Department of Boise police are scattered, especially in the community area. sensitization.
“We have a large number of people eligible to retire in the very near future,” Winegar said. “We are significantly looking at staff shortages. Keeping up to date with vacancies and “adding more” to provide the essential service we need is going to be a challenge. “
Boise owners will see a spike in property taxes of the city, even though Boise chooses not to take a 3% increase. Estimates show that municipal taxes are expected to increase by at least $ 371 for the average household. This is due to a number of factors, including residential properties representing an increasing share of the property tax burden, a lagging homeowner exemption rate that does not match property values, and expiration of property. Governor Brad Little’s one-time tax break.
Other highlights of the budget priorities include:
A finalized proposal for the city’s budget for fiscal year 2022 is expected to be ready on June 18, after which the city will host additional workshops. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for July 13.
Ryan Suppe is the Boise Town Hall and Treasure Valley business reporter for the Idaho Press. Contact him at 208-344-2055 (extension 3038). Follow him on Twitter @salsuppe.