Mayor proposes $3.2B spending plan

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Faulconer

Mayor Kevin Faulconer

SAN DIEGO — Mayor Kevin Faulconer Monday proposed a $3.2 billion budget for the city of San Diego for fiscal year 2015-16.

Faulconer’s spending plan, which would take effect July 1, includes paying for the repair of 300 miles of streets. The mayor has made a goal of repaving 1,000 miles of roadways over the next five years, and he’s set aside $49.2 million in a bond issue to pay some of the cost.

He is also proposing to expand operating hours at the city’s 16 busiest recreation centers from 45 to 60 hours a week, upgrade playgrounds, install better lighting, and improve preschool and teen programs.

Faulconer said his proposed spending plan “funds services that give more San Diegans in more communities the opportunity to succeed.”

“San Diegans will see more street repairs, better parks and more equality to neighborhood services, so your community is thriving no matter where you live,” she said.

The proposed budget also builds on the city’s activities of the current year by increasing broadband Internet access at libraries, expanding an after- school study program at libraries in communities with low test scores, staffing a new fire station in Mission Valley and a temporary fire facility in Skyline, adding more neighborhood code enforcement officers and updating nine community zoning plans.

Faulconer proposed a $2.97 billion budget at this time last year. The upcoming year’s number will be higher because of across-the-board revenue increases, according to the mayor’s office.

The city is projecting a 4.25 percent hike in property tax income, 4 percent for sales taxes, 5.5 percent in hotel room taxes and 2 percent for franchise fees — which are paid for by companies like San Diego Gas & Electric and Cox.

“After years of sacrifices on the part of our residents, communities and city staff, it’s encouraging to see a budget that continues to provide essential services such as public safety and infrastructure, and restores recreation center and library hours and other city programs,” council President Sherri Lightner said.

The draft budget will be formally presented to the City Council Tuesday afternoon. The council members will hold hearings on the budget in May and vote on a final document in June.

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