City of Salem Presents Fiscal Year 2021 Budget on May 6, 2020 to Budget Committee

Posted on April 25, 2020

City of Salem – 04/24/20 4:00 PM

Salem, Ore. — In May of this year, the resident members, Mayor, and City Council comprising the City of Salem’s Budget Committee will consider the FY 2021 Proposed Budget for the City of Salem and Urban Renewal Agency.

The combined $752 million budgets cover the period from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, and includes estimates of revenue and costs of services and capital projects. The City of Salem Budget Committee meets May 6 and May 13. If needed, a May 20 Budget Committee meeting may be scheduled.

The proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget is the City’s financial plan to provide services to its community. While this proposed budget has been developed and delivered during a time of uncertainty, it continues the implementation of the City Council priorities for public safety, community and urban development, library, parks and recreation, street maintenance, and water, wastewater, and stormwater utility services.

You can add your voice by providing written testimony to the Budget Committee (“> The budget process concludes with a City Council public hearing and adoption in June. For more information, check out our web page on the City’s Budget.

COVID-19 Impacts on the Proposed City of Salem, Fiscal Year 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique tension between taking swift action and the need to better understand the short-term and long-term fiscal impacts to the City, as an organization, our community, its residents, and businesses.

“We know there will be fiscal impacts to the City as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, as there will be for everyone in our community – residents and businesses alike,” said City Manager Steve Powers. “For the upcoming Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which starts July 1 of this year, we are showing generally pre-COVID 19 estimates for most revenues and expenses. As we learn more, we’ll be briefing the Budget Committee, Council, and the community. Changes will be made that respond to needs created by the pandemic and that maintain a balanced budget.” The FY 2021 Proposed Budget features adjusted revenues based on immediate impacts to City’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) and parking revenues.

Capital Improvement Plan, FY 2021 through FY 2025

At their May 6 meeting, the Budget Committee will also hold a public hearing on the City’s Capital Improvement Plan for FY 2021 through FY 2025. The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a five-year forecast which identifies capital projects requiring the use of public funds over and above routine annual operating expenses along with possible future sources of funding and the projects’ timing and priority. Capital projects include community facilities (historic structures and parks owned and maintained by the City), municipal facilities (like the airport, buildings and parking structures, information technology), transportation (streets and streetlights) and utilities (water, wastewater and stormwater facilities). A capital project creates, improves, replaces, repairs, or permanently adds to City assets including: land, site improvements, parks, buildings, streets, bike paths, bridges, utility improvements, major equipment, computer hardware, and communication systems purchases.

Direction from City Council: 2020 Policy Agenda

Salem City Council’s 2020 Policy Agenda draws from the Council and community-defined priorities in the 2017 Strategic Plan. Through its annual Policy Agenda, City Council agrees on its specific priorities for action in the coming year and provides direction on aligning resources towards the Strategic Plan result areas through the City’s budgeting process.

In this 2020 City Council Policy Agenda, we are continuing the Strategic Plan commitments to work toward improving the lives of those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, investing in economic health of the community and downtown, and reducing our impact on the environment.

Priorities for 2020 include completing the new Salem Police Station, improving safety for bikers and walkers, preparing together for emergencies, developing more affordable housing and provide aid to those experiencing homelessness, continuing planning Our Salem and work on the Salem Public Library seismic and safety upgrade, preparing a climate action plan, investing in safe drinking water, preparing an asset management and bonding strategy, focusing economic activity Downtown, North Downtown and in West Salem industrial area.

To view the 2020 Policy Agenda or the Strategic Plan, please visit salem-strategic-plan.aspx.

All Virtual Meeting

On May 6, 2020, the City of Salem’s Budget Committee meets at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast live via the City of Salem Facebook Page, @CityofSalemOR, CCTVSalem’s YouTube page, or Comcast Cable Channel 21.

Salem’s Civic Center, including the City Council Chambers, is closed to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Check the City’s COVID-19 Information Center for all City service impacts on

Public Comment and Testimony

There will be no in-person oral public comment. Provide testimony by 3 pm or earlier the day of the meeting to make it available for consideration during the meeting.

You can submit comments on meeting agenda items by email to“>

Priority Based Budgeting

Priority based budgeting (PBB) is a best practice in municipal government. PBB is a unique and innovative approach to budget planning which enables organizations to effectively match available resources with priorities.

In 2018, following the adoption of the City’s Strategic Plan, Salem embarked on an effort to organize all of the City’s programs and services around six broad result areas of:

  • Safe Community
  • Welcoming and Livable Community
  • Strong and Diverse Economy
  • Safe, Reliable and Efficient Infrastructure
  • Natural Environment Stewardship
  • Good Governance

Our goal is that the online PBB data be used as a reporting tool for the Budget Committee, City Council and the community showing how City funds support the City’s result areas and also as a framework for evaluating budget decisions. Through an open data site, you can now access data on each of the City’s FY 2020 programs and services here:


A brief tutorial will pop up when you sign into the site. The site displays results by quartiles (All Results tab), which shows if the program is most (quartile 1), more (quartile 2), less (quartile 3), or least (quartile 4) aligned with the overall result areas. A quartile 4, or least aligned program, does not necessarily mean it is something the City should or could stop doing. There may be a State or Federal mandate, grant funding, a significant reliance on the City to provide service, or the program simply scored essential in only one result area.

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