On November 21, the Seattle City Council approved a $7.8 billion budget for FY 2024, which begins on January 1.
Seattle has a biennial budget process, so this is essentially a supplemental budget to the FY 2023-2024 budget approved by the Council last year. In his budget transmittal in late September, Mayor Bruce Harrell suggested limited additional public safety spending, including funds for a new acoustic gunshot detection program.
The Council also added new spending, including a $300,000 drug treatment pilot program and $20 million for mental health services. The added mental health services will be funded by an increase in the JumpStart payroll tax, which is imposed on businesses with the highest payrolls in the city.
Big budget challenges lie ahead for Seattle, which is facing projected average deficits of $218 million for six years, beginning in 2025. The Council is expected to consider additional revenue sources, including a local capital gains tax, before leaving office at the end of the year.