Seattle mayor releases 2023-24 budget proposal

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell is following through with his campaign promise to prioritize affordable housing and public safety with the release today of his 2024 city budget.

He wants to put an extra $334 million towards expanding housing resources, city-wide.

It's a 32% increase from the 2023 budget approved by the city council.

But there's a catch: $88 million of that increase assumes voters will renew the Seattle housing levy in November

Also in the budget is $10 million to pay for a modest pay increase for human services workers, with money left over to pay child-care workers a signing bonus. The city has seen significant staffing issues in both categories

The new Community Assisted Response and Engagement (CARE) program is getting $26.5 million in first-year funding. When it rolls out next month, CARE will pair social workers and police officers for person-in-crisis-type emergency calls.

Seattle’s deficit balloons to $251 million for the 2025 fiscal year, "without significant intervention" – such as authorizing payment from the Jumpstart Payroll Expense tax, which was used to cover last year’s budget gaps. That tax is supposed to be spent on housing programs and environmental protection.

The budget proposal now moves on to City Council for review and possible changes.

You can read a summary of the budget here or the full budget proposal here