Mayor’s Statement on 2024 Budget Adoption
I want to thank the Common Council for their work to pass a budget that continues to invest in our critical community services and infrastructure. The City’s budget process is never easy, and there are always more community needs and more good ideas than funding can support. This is made more difficult by a State legislature that provides minimal direct support and severely restricts Madison’s access to revenue sources available elsewhere. The result is that, every year, the costs to deliver City services - like libraries, emergency response, transit, snow plowing, and more - increase faster than our revenues do to pay for those services. While we have mastered the art of doing more with less, it is increasingly challenging to deliver the high quality services that Madisonians are accustomed to in a rapidly growing city.
Despite these funding challenges, there are a few bright spots that I am pleased we were able to advance in this budget. I appreciate the Council’s support for our key priorities around violence prevention, safety, housing, and sustainability. I am particularly excited about the following:
- Continued support to expand the CARES program, including investments in staffing and vehicles, to support the program’s growth.
- A City-wide public information officer to help engage and respond to residents about City services, which was a top priority of the City’s Neighborhood Resource Teams.
- Local and federal funding along the Lake Monona Waterfront to reconstruct and improve the John Nolen Drive bridges, roadway and multi-use path.
- Continued investment in the City’s bus rapid transit system by adding federal, state, and local funding to construct the North-South line.
- Another annual increase to the City’s affordable housing fund, providing $94.5 million over six years - an increase of over 60 percent from the 2023 Capital Improvement Plan.
- Continued investment in solar, geothermal, and electric vehicle charging projects and acquisitions, with the support of over $13 million in federal tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act.