Strickland presents 2020 city budget with no tax increase, pay increase

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland presented his budget for fiscal year 2020 to the Memphis City Council in the council’s meeting on April 16.

The budget proposal, which comes with no tax increase, includes increases for public safety, city employees, community engagement, road paving, housing and transportation.

Strickland proposed a 3% pay raise for all public safety employees and a 1% increase for all other city employees.

”Since 2016, public safety has been a top priority of mine, as I know it has been for you, and it is the No. 1 priority we all hear about in every neighborhood in every corner of our city,” Strickland said.

Another increase in Strickland’s budget was road paving. It is the fourth year in a row the city has increased funding for paving roads.

Strickland said he often hears that the city needs to do more for young people, so this budget proposal requests increases for funding for summer jobs.

A large portion of Strickland’s proposal to the city council was targeted at helping “opportunity youth,” defined by Strickland as people who are 16-24 years old, out of school and chronically unemployed.

”Young people are the future of Memphis, and their success or failure will define our city’s path for years to come,” Strickland said. “We must substantially change what our community does for opportunity youth if we want better outcomes.”

Strickland also said he aims to help families which can not afford housing or pay too much for their housing.

He introduced the Memphis Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which will provide grants and loans for new construction and rehab of multi-family homes. He said more details about this fund will be released in the coming weeks.

Strickland said the city will expand funding for Manhood University and Women Offering Women Support (WOWS). These are community programs with the intention to uplift communities and put residents in jobs.

MATA will also receive an additional $2.5 million in funding.

“At its core, city government’s job is to provide top quality, reliable service to our residents, and with this additional funding, we’re helping to do that,” Strickland said.

These increases come with no tax increase to residents, Strickland said. He said the city is able to do this because there is a surplus of revenue from the past year.

“I look forward to the budget process, and with your help, continuing to accelerate our momentum,” Strickland said.

The full 2020 operational budget proposal can be seen here.

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