Wheeler requests fewer police in revised budget
Mayor Ted Wheeler has filed a revised version of his proposed budget on Wednesday that calls for hiring few new police officers.
The revised budget calls for hiring 49 new officers instead of the 52 he originally produced. It also restores proposed cuts in several bureaus, inlcuding the Office of Neigbrhorhood Involvement, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and Portland Parks & Recreation. It includes funding for four community centers that were at risk of closing.
Wheeler released his proposed budget on April 28. The changes were made after discussiuons with other member of the City Council. Wheeler had been criticized by some community members for wanting to hire too many new officers while cutting other programs too deeply, especially in the parks bureau.
Wheeler proposes to pay for the additional officers by increasing the city's business license tax from 2.2 to 2.6 percent. The increase would generate $15.3 million in the first year, with $5.5 million originally dedicated to the new officers. Much of the rest would be spent on homeless services.
The Portland Business Alliance supports the tax increase.
"The budget we filed today represents a fruitful collaboration among City Commissioners. The Mayor appreciates this collaboration," the mayor's office said when announcing the changes.
The final budget approved by the council will take effect on July 1.
You can read an earlier Portland Tribune story on the budget at tinyurl.com/y7l4xtas.