2023 Birmingham budget
Mayor Randall Woodfin announced his budget proposal for $517,017,653 on May 17, 2022, a $61,500,309 (13.5%) increase over the 2022 budget, reflecting projected revenue boosts from business taxes and licenses, sales taxes, and lodging taxes. Several individual appropriations were noted as including unspent surpluses from the previous year's budget.
Initiatives that saw large increases in appropriations included an $18 million increase to funding for the Birmingham Police Department, bringing it to $118.5 million, which represents 23% of the city's overall proposed budget, or $590 per person— a per capita figure higher than all but 9 US cities. Of that, $6.6 million was requested for salaries and wages. Another $2.7 million would cover anticipated overtime pay for the 2022 World Games. A $1.3 million appropriation would allow the department to furnish uniforms rather than requiring officers to purchase them.
Woodfin proposed doubling the city's contributions to transit providers. The Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) saw an increase from $5 million to $10 million. Other transportation-related increased included a jump from $500,000 to $1.2 million for Birmingham On-Demand, and from $250,000 to $1 million for the Birmingham Xpress bus rapid transit system.
The proposal included upgrading the present Birmingham Mayor's Office Division of Youth Services into a full-fledged city department with a $5,435,000 budget. An additional $1 million was allocated to after-hours youth programs managed by the Birmingham Department of Parks and Recreation, and $2 million allocated to the Birmingham Promise scholarship and job training program. Another $2 million was earmarked for Birmingham City Schools to implement financial literacy and conflict resolution programs. Smaller amounts were included to maintain existing youth programs operated in partnership with Jefferson County and with WBRC-TV.
Another new Birmingham Department of Capital Project was created with an initial budget allocation of $4.2 million.
Woodfin's budget sets aside $32.7 million for the city's pension fund along with another $4.8 million supplement to police and fire pensions. It also includes $2.9 million for merit pay raises, $1.5 million for longevity pay raises, $1.4 million to cover employee insurance increases, and an $11.6 million pool for cost-of-living adjustments to wages.
The Birmingham Department of Public Works was set to receive several appropriations, including $15 million for street repaving, $7 million to furnish rolling trash bins to residents, $3.5 million for abating weeds and demolishing condemned structures, and $275,000 for sidewalks. The Birmingham Land Bank Authority saw an increase in its annual appropriation from $300,000 to $500,000.
Much public discussion of the proposed budget centered around diminished support for Birmingham Public Library system. The proposed allocation of $14 million fell well short of the $18 million requested by the system, and represented an inflation-adjusted 12.5% reduction in city support since Woodfin's first year in office. Activist Alice Speake founded a "Save Birmingham Public Libraries" group to lobby for increased budgetary support.
City Council approval
- Michaels, Ryan (May 18, 2022) "Birmingham Mayor Proposes Half A Billion Dollar Budget For Fiscal 2023. What’s In It." The Birmingham Times
- Gann, Heather (June 25, 2022) "Birmingham public libraries fall $4 million short in mayor’s proposed budget." The Birmingham News
- O'Leary, A. J. (June 30, 2022) "Birmingham passes half-billion-dollar budget." Birmingham Business Journal
- Prickett, Sam (June 30, 2022) "Birmingham City Council passes Woodfin’s budget untouched" BirminghamWatch / The Birmingham Times
- Anderson, Jon (September 2022) "Budget 2023: City focuses on youth, neighborhood cleanup with revenue increase." Iron City Ink
- 2023 Budget at birminghamal.gov