Mayor Jane Castor presented her 2022-2023 Budget to Tampa City Council with a virtual introduction from Dublin, Ireland, where she is participating in the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Benchmarking Trip. She followed that introduction with this video message on the City’s priorities for the following fiscal year.
Mayor Jane Castor presented the City’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023 to Tampa City Council today, focusing on the theme of Resilient Tampa and developing a stronger future through long-term planning and investing.
In the past three years, the City of Tampa has committed more than $100M to housing-related services. Last year, for the first time in history, the City designated general fund money toward housing affordability and stability for Tampa residents. Mayor Castor proposes doing that again this year, devoting $5.5M in general fund money and $20M overall for housing-related services.
One of the biggest drivers in this year’s budget is the new contracts with the City of Tampa’s three unions, who represent most of the City’s workforce. The wage agreements for the three unions are the same: A 9.5 percent salary increase in the first year, and 4.5 percent increases in years two and three.
“I felt it was important to stand behind the men and women who serve our residents so well,” Mayor Castor said. “To keep us resilient, we need to be able to recruit and retain the talent we have. Like the families we serve every day across Tampa, city employees are also facing higher costs of living. This pay increase is not only well deserved but necessary.”
Infrastructure improvements continue to be a central focus. To speed construction and save money, the Castor administration proposes adding two construction crews to handle routine water pipeline work, rather than rely on private contractors.
For mobility, the City of Tampa is looking to continue to create premium transit corridors across the major transportation spine of the city, connecting the Westshore District to Downtown and Downtown to the University Area.
When tackling sustainability and resiliency, this year’s budget will prioritize issues like urban heat, coastal protection, and water security. The City intends to install hundreds of new solar panels and implement new energy savings programs.
It also will continue to attract new talent to Tampa’s workforce by connecting job seekers directly with hiring managers at events like Signing Day and providing access to apprenticeship training. City leaders will also make sure under-represented businesses are afforded opportunities to compete on government contracts through great programs like Bridges to Business.
Thanks to fiscal prudence and a strong financial foundation, Tampa has outstanding credit ratings, which helps city leaders stretch dollars far wider than other, less disciplined communities. A crucial part of that is maintaining more than 22 percent of the city’s budget in reserves, a practice Tampa will continue in 2023.
“I look forward to working together with Tampa City Council to finalize this budget and to continue our momentum throughout next year,” Mayor Castor said. “I appreciate everything our council does to serve this community.”