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The city of Portland will have at least $49 million more to spend in next year's budget, according to the most recent budget estimates.


The increases include an additional $13.1 million in ongoing resources and an additional $35.9 million in one-time resources.

“This increase in resources will allow the city to further prioritize basic services. Residents can expect that my proposed budget next week will include substantial investments in paving, parks and housing. This forecast is reflective of not only the broader economy, but also a sign of the desirability of Portland as a place to work and live,” says Mayor Charlie Hales.

Commissioner Steve Novick was the first City Council member to say how he believe the additional funds should be sent. He issued the following statement shortly after the city budget office announced the new revenue projection Thursday morning.

“I urge Mayor Hales to dedicate at least 50 percent of the one-time revenue to transportation maintenance and safety, and the lion's share of the new ongoing revenue to addressing, one way or another, the problems with the Portland building.

“By allocating $18 million for transportation, the city could invest $10 million in paving and other major maintenance projects, and pay for the full $8 million in improvements to safety and access to transit along 122nd that TriMet and community members have identified as a significant need. TriMet has told us that making those investments would strengthen the case for making frequent service on 122nd a priority, and East Portlanders have told us loud and clear that improved service on that route is critically important. “Meanwhile, if the Portland Building is unusable after an earthquake, it will be very difficult for city government to function. If city government can't function, Portland's ability to respond to and recover from the earthquake will be severely compromised. Fixing or replacing the building is a classic example of the kind of investment that responsible leaders make, knowing there isn’t anything glamourous about it. The details matter, of course, and I’m not yet endorsing any particular plan for the future of the Portland Building.”

The new revenue projection is the final one the council will receive before it approves next year's budget. The CBO said revenue are growing at near record levels, although they don't expect the rate to last.

The CBO says the primary change to the forecast was related to the city’s business license tax collections. After a record $81 million in fiscal year 2013-14, collections may pass $100 million in fiscal year 2014-15.

According to the CBO, "the influx of revenue provides the opportunity for the City to make large scale investments in city infrastructure."

Total general fund resources are estimated at $484.8 million. The full document can be found at www.portlandoregon.gov/cbo/article/528803.

During the next two months the council will revise and approve the budget that goes into effect begins on July 1. The next community budget forum is set from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, at George Middle School, 10000 N, Burr Ave.

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