Proposed budget for Colorado Springs focuses taxpayer dollars on public safety

Proposed Colorado Springs budget allocates taxpayer dollars to public safety
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 3:49 PM MDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2022 at 4:35 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - In the city of Colorado Springs’ proposed budget for 2023, officials say they hope to focus on public safety.

The plan was presented by Mayor John Suthers’ chief of staff, Jeff Greene, and the city’s chief financial officer, Charae McDaniel.

The budget for 2023 is projected to be a little over $420 million. This is an increase of $23.3 million, or 5.9% more than this year’s original budget. McDaniel said this is due largely to the increase in sales tax revenue. That number was up 13% from this year, which city officials attribute to more people spending money.

During the presentation, most of the emphasis was placed on law enforcement and firefighters. Greene and McDaniel said they hope to add positions to each department, while also focusing on retaining the positions they have filled.

“I believe at this point in time we have the currently in attrition rate about 70 officers, authorized positions to be filled by the police department,” Greene said, “so they’re 70 police officer short.”

About $926,000 of increased funding will go toward police. This extra money, added on to the base budget for police, will add 15 new positions in police departments, as well as vehicles for positions added this year.

Greene and McDaniel also say they hope to work with police to keep the officers they have now.

“The issues of how we retain key employees, how we retain public safety personnel, is that a large component of the budget will be based on compensation,” Greene said.

According to the budget overview, in 2023, police salaries, benefits and pensions are projected to make up 44% of general fund expenditures.

The proposed budget also includes more money for Keep It Clean COS and other city positions they say are seeing more demand, such as Parks, Recreation and Cultural services.

You can view the budget overview here and the mayor’s letter on the budget below: