Council voices broad approval for increase in Measure J funds used for community-proposed projects

The public has additional opportunities to weigh in on the budget at City Council meetings later this month. It must be adopted by June 30 because the new fiscal year begins July 1.

More available Measure J tax funds means more community-proposed projects are likely to become reality, thanks to a decision by the Palm Springs City Council Thursday afternoon.

The news: During a joint meeting with the city’s Measure J Oversight Commission, councilmembers voiced broad support for allocating $3 million to community-initiated projects in next year’s budget. Traditionally the amount set aside for these projects has been $1 million, but more funds are available due to deferments as the city tightened its belt during the pandemic.

  • Measure J is a tax that allows the city to collect one cent for every dollar spent here. A portion of the money collected is set aside for projects community members propose by completing applications.
  • This year, nearly 60 projects were proposed by community members. A list reviewed Thursday showed 14 of them, at a cost of $2.5 million, were recommended for funding by the Commission.
    • They include improvements to existing dog parks, playgrounds, locker rooms at the city Swim Center, and more.

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But wait: Additional projects proposed by the community appear to be headed for approval as part of the regular portion of the Measure J budget, which is much larger. They include an expansion of the Mizell Center kitchen, a gazebo at Victoria Park, and safer crosswalks along East Sonora Road.

Bottom line: The Measure J budget is one of several that city officials annually review on the path to approving the overall city budget. Other budgets were reviewed Thursday, as was the budget for the Palm Springs International Airport.

  • One of the budgets, the city’s General Fund, is expected to see $186 million in revenue collected and $178 million spent next fiscal year. That’s an $18 million increase in revenue compared to the current fiscal year.

Next up: The public has additional opportunities to weigh in on the budget at City Council meetings later this month. It must be adopted by June 30 because the new fiscal year begins July 1.

Diver deeper with the complete staff report here.

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