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December 6, 2022

Salt Lake County 2023 Budget Approved by the Salt Lake County Council

Salt Lake County—This evening, the Salt Lake County Council held public comment and certified the county’s 2023 budget.

“The 2023 comprehensive budget provides historic support to health, quality of life initiatives, homeless system assistance and environmental sustainability investments. Additionally, all of the county’s priority deferred maintenance was funded including much needed improvements at parks, recreation centers and buildings throughout the county system.” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.

The council’s vote in approving the budget included approval for a tax increase for the Salt Lake County Library service area, which is approximately $30 per household annually for the average home valued at $ 560,000.  The additional funding will support updates to the library system, address inflationary pressures and allow the system to modernize. County residents have not seen an increase to the County Library tax in ten years. See more info about the library tax increase here.

Key initiatives included in the budget include: 

  • An unprecedented $5 million dollar investment in open space funding
  • Expanded trails and active transportation projects including safer sidewalk and bike lanes
  • Water-wise upgrades to irrigation infrastructure in County parks and facilities
  • $2 million dollar investment in the Other Side Academy Tiny Home Village
  • $2 million dollar grant to support the capital costs of the Utah AIDS Foundation’s new community health center
  • A matched grant to Centro Cívico Mexicano to support planning for a new center to replace the aging facility
  • $85 million in funding for county deferred maintenance, which is the entire high-priority list as identified by the facilities team. This is the largest investment in deferred capital maintenance in county history.  Some of these projects have been put off for more than a decade and improvements and replacements will improve the efficiency and sustainability of county facilities.
  • $2.5 million to fund a temporary mental health receiving center at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI). This is to cover the cost of retrofitting and expanding an existing space at the HMHI. It will also cover 17 months of staffing to allow operations beginning in April 2023 until a new center is finished in Fall 2024. The budget also includes $1 million for the new Kem and Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center, which is being built in South Salt Lake. Mental health receiving centers allow law enforcement officers to bring those having a mental health crisis to a safe place where professional help is available.

Specifically, the ongoing work between the county, municipalities, community leaders and mental health receiving centers has been crucial in addressing some of the most critical challenges in the valley. “We are grateful to the Salt Lake County Council, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, and the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation for their continued support,” says Mark H. Rapaport, MD, CEO of HMHI. “This type of cross-sector collaboration is crucial for expanding and improving mental health care in our community and beyond.

“These funds ensure we continue to provide exceptional care for patients in crisis,” says Michael L. Good, MD, CEO of University of Utah Health. “U of U Health greatly appreciates the advocacy and leadership of the Salt Lake County Council, Mayor Wilson, and the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation in helping to care for the mental health of our community.”

Speaking on behalf of The Other Side Village, Chairman and Co-Founder Joseph Grenny added, “Our mission is best accomplished with the overall support of Salt Lake County.  We are excited to get this project off the ground to provide additional housing and life-changing options for the most vulnerable in our community.”

“This budget is an example of what we can accomplish when we all work together for the greater good. I would like to thank the Council for their commitment to this process,” said Mayor Wilson.