Salt Lake City’s $205 Million Budget Approved

Salt Lake City and County Building

(KCPW News) Salt Lake City’s $205 million budget is now in place for the next year, after being approved by the city council last night. City Council Chairman Soren Simonsen says it came in about $1.5 million more than Mayor Ralph Becker’s proposal.

“When we got final numbers from the county and from the state, we ended up having a little bit more, mostly in property tax, than we thought we had to begin with, so that gave us a little bit of wiggle room in the end.”

One change city residents and visitors to downtown are likely to notice is an increase in metered parking rates from $1.50 to $2 per hour, extending parking enforcement until 8 p.m. on weeknights and ending free parking from Thanksgiving to New Years.

Simonsen notes the change is happening after the opening of new parking facilities at City Creek and elsewhere.

“When you look at all of those in context, there are a lot of changes in downtown, mostly there’s a lot more parking available, which is good news for people who want to come down, but we’re also trying to manage it very carefully to make sure the right parking is available for the right needs.”

He says one of the most significant things in the new budget is a major investment in long-term capital improvements in the city, noting the council committed to spend new sales tax growth on restoring funds for things like sidewalks, roads, parks and open space and transit infrastructure.