The Sacramento City Council voted and passed a budget proposal for Measure U funds earlier this month. Unlike a typical city budget vote, this one received a great deal of attention and controversy due to the exclusion of two districts when determining which local projects an initial $16 million from Measure U would fund. These are projects throughout Sacramento that Mayor Darrell Steinberg referred to as “early wins.”
Measure U was an extension of the half cent sales tax that was due to expire this year. It moved the previous half cent sales tax increase to a full cent with the idea that the extra funding of an estimated $40 million per year would go to inclusive economic development and safety measures. Which means the revenue will go to things like underserved neighborhoods and commercial corridors, affordable housing, and youth/community empowerment grants. SAR supported this last November and it passed with 57 percent support in Sacramento.
This budget calls for investing the additional $40 million annually in these pivotal areas, approving the idea of issuing bonds totaling $250 million in order to create a $100 million housing trust fund along with setting aside money for public facilities and neighborhood projects.
Some of the projects funded by the recent budget vote are:
- $100 million for affordable housing using gap financing
- $1.3 million to expand “Youth Pop Ups” for teens
- $1.3 million to restore the Iceland ice rink in north Sacramento
- $1.9 million for new soccer and baseball fields in north Sacramento
- $2 million for a bike trail in Pocket/Greenhaven
- $650,000 for youth programs, like summer camps and extended pool hours in Meadowview
- $1 million to allow kids to ride public transit for free
SAR was present for the City Council meetings leading up to this budget passing, voicing support for the $100 million allocated for affordable housing gap financing. We are excited to see how this will begin to rectify our housing shortage crisis and present the start of a long-term solution in Sacramento.