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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey introduced his 2023-24 budget plan on Monday.

The mayor outlined more money going towards public safety-related items as the city transitions to the new "strong mayor" model, which gives Frey greater control over policy-making and city departments – though the city council ultimately has the final say on legislative and budgetary issues.

Frey's proposed biennial budget centers on five areas, which would see an additional $80 million of spending on top of existing budgets over the next two years.

  • Affordable housing
  • City capacity and performance
  • Climate and public health
  • Economic inclusion
  • Public safety

It totals around $3.3 billion, with $1.66 billion proposed for 2023 and $1.71 billion for 2024. In addition, Frey is proposing a 6.5% increase in the property tax levy in 2023.

According to Frey's long-term plan, the tax levy would rise by 6.2% again in 2024, eventually declining to a 3.8% rise by 2027.

A five-year breakdown of property taxes, courtesy of the City of Minneapolis.

A five-year breakdown of property taxes, courtesy of the City of Minneapolis.

The latest budget proposal includes $80 million in addition spending — on top of existing budgets — in five categories over the next two years.

A breakdown:

City Capacity and Performance

An additional $37 million — $12.4 million in 2023 and $24.6 million in 2024 — would go towards city capacity and performance.

An extra $4 million will go towards improving road and trails, streetlight repairs, litter pick up and the 311 response team. Frey is also looking to have "broader flexibility" for the state's Department of Human Resources to better recruit and retain an improved workforce. 

In addition, funds are being increased by 30% for the recently newly-formed department of Racial Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. The department was formalized in December 2017.

An expansion of paid parental leave is also part of the proposal. The current paid parental leave for city workers is three weeks; this revision would increase to 12 weeks. Traffic control agents will also wear bodyworn cameras in this new budget.

Frey's plan also expects to bring back 50 full-time city employees by 2024.

Public Safety

Frey is under pressure to act on public safety amid the spike in crime in Minneapolis since the start of the pandemic, as well as the multiple controversies involving MPD under Frey's tenure and before, which includes it being subject of state and federal human rights investigations.

An additional $24 million — $8.4 million in 2023 and $15.5 million in 2024 — will go towards public safety as the city transitions to a new "Office of Community Safety," which will oversee the city's police, fire, 911, and the new Office of Neighborhood Services.

The budget includes money to hire more officers, providing funding for 731 serving officers in 2023 and 835 in 2024 – with the extra money providing funding for four recruit classes. MPD currently has 571 officers having seen significant attrition since George Floyd's murder by former officer Derek Chauvin.

In July, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered the city to employ 731 officers as required in the city charter or otherwise prove why it can't. 

Other elements of the mayor's budget would see the Behavioral Crisis Response program expand in both years. The ultimate goal is to get the service to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, the program would also expand a traffic control unit that sends out civilians to address calls.

Five new staff positions will be added to the city attorney's office "to improve charging decisions made on city criminal cases, and dedicate staff to address deficiencies identified in the Minnesota Department of Civil Rights investigation."

Another $8 million will go towards the replacement of street lights over the next two years.

Economic Inclusion

An additional $7 million — $5.7 million in 2023 and $1.6 million in 2024 — will go towards economic inclusion.

The city will continue to build on American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments by adding around $2 million to the Commercial Property Development Fund.

More initiatives will focus on:

  • Economic development along 38th Street in south Minneapolis
  • A business incubator on West Broadway Avenue that's led by the Black Women's Wealth Alliance
  • Ongoing funding for Black Business Week to further recognize Black-owned businesses in the city

Climate and Public Health

An additional $4 million — $1.9 million in 2023 and $2.1 million in 2024 — will go towards climate and public health.

Funds for treatment of opioid addiction will total around $600,000, according to the budget proposal. 

Other areas of climate funds will also be addressed:

  • Funds totaling over $500,000 in a two-year span will go towards the Green Cost Share program. The program helps businesses reduce environmental pollution through solar energy and weatherization projects.
  • Another $700,000 will go towards the design and construction of Electric Vehicle Charging (EVC) stations. It leverages an estimated $2-3 million in federal funds to support electric vehicles and carbon emission reduction.
  • Another position will be added that overlooks and maximizes efforts to improve the city's tree canopy.

Affordable Housing

An additional $8 million — $4.9 million in 2023 and $3.2 million in 2024 — will go towards affordable housing.

Funding will continue for programs already run in the city and will provide aid to the Minneapolis Housing Authority to update and maintain its buildings. 

The plan will help build on ARPA investments in the Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) Preservation Fund, as well as any Minneapolis Homes programs. 

A breakdown of total costs to each category, courtesy of the City of Minneapolis.

A breakdown of total costs to each category, courtesy of the City of Minneapolis.

A City Council committee will have public hearings held this fall and winter before a final vote is made on the budget.

To learn more about Frey's proposed budget plan, click here.

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