Maddox presents Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson
The Tuscaloosa City Council and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox met Friday morning to discuss the mayor’s proposed Fiscal Year 2022 operating budgets.
The proposed amounts are:
- $6,379,240 for education
- $73,973,495 for public safety
- $58,577,469 for infrastructure, including $6,054,317 for paving projects
- $42,880,666 for water and sewer
- $15,241,857 for recreation
As part of the public safety budget, Maddox is proposing an increase in pay for Tuscaloosa Police and Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue.
Part of that pay increase will come from a proposed public safety event fee, a $1 fee added to any ticket meeting the following criteria:
- Event with more than 1,000 attendees
- Ticketed event
- Alcohol sold to attendees
Another piece of the public safety budget will come from a proposed 3% student-oriented housing rental tax affecting any property with at least 200 beds. As of now, 20 developments within Tuscaloosa city limits qualify for the proposed tax.
The council and the mayor also discussed a proposed pay scale for the police and fire employees including a 15-step raise plan. For example, a police officer or firefighter would begin their career making $51,000 in salary a year, but every year that would increase until they hit a 15-year cap of $72,511.65.
“Public safety is our No. 1 mission, and making sure we have the best-trained police officers and firefighters available was paramount and that’s why I hope we are able to pass that through,” Maddox said.
Elevate Tuscaloosa has a proposed $37.7 million budget, a $14 million increase from Fiscal Year 2020’s budget.
“I think the council will be very open, they understand the challenges that we have,” Maddox said. “What we did today was just lay out how we think we can best accomplish those missions, whether it is increasing pay for fire and police, whether it is continuing to invest in our community so that we can secure the jobs of the future.”
The city council will meet again to approve or deny the proposal on the last Tuesday of September.
You can view the budget presentation documents right here.
The budget must be passed by Oct. 1.