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Memphis City Council approves $708-million budget plan

The Memphis City Council unanimously approved  a $708-million budget plan Tuesday.
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The Memphis city council unanimously approved a final budget Tuesday, but it’s slightly different than what Mayor Jim Strickland wanted.

Strickland proposed more money for first responders and street paving and said it could be done without raising your property taxes.

The council said it found the money for a 4% increase for public safety employees, instead of Strickland’s proposed 3%.

It also includes money for an affordable housing trust fund to help families who need housing grants and loans.

From Mayor Jim Strickland:

Here are some highlights:

  • A 4 percent pay increase for public safety employees, which adds to other raises for them since we took office, and a 1 percent pay increase for all other employees. We also absorbed the rising cost of health insurance for our employees, meaning that we won’t be increasing premiums. All of this goes a long way toward retaining and recruiting employees, which is key to rebuilding the Memphis Police Department.
  • Our fourth consecutive increase in street paving — more than double the amount the City was spending five years ago.
  • No tax increase.
  • Fully funding our pension for the first time since 2006.
  • More summer jobs for youth — a 75 percent increase from when we took office.
  • A comprehensive, collaborative plan to connect opportunity youth to our city’s momentum.
  • Creation of the Community Catalyst Fund, the City’s first fund dedicated solely to infrastructure improvements in disinvested neighborhoods.
  • Creation of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the City’s first fund dedicated to ensuring all Memphians have affordable, safe, clean housing.
  • Doubling re-entry work through the expansion of the highly successful Manhood University program and the creation of a similar program for women.
  • A new library in Frayser, on the heels of appropriating money two weeks ago to begin building a new Ed Rice Community Center nearby.
  • A new fire station in Whitehaven.
  • Another $2.5 million for MATA, bringing the total funding increase for local transit since I took office to $5 million.

None of this would have been possible without the spirit of cooperation with our partners on the City Council. Truly, it was a team effort — and I thank them for working together with us to prioritize this continued improvement in how City government impacts lives and delivers services to you.

Memphis has momentum; we can see it all around us. For the role that City government plays in accelerating that momentum, our upcoming budget will be another step forward.