SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Salt Lake County Council certified the county’s 2023 budget and approved a tax increase for the county’s library service area on Wednesday, Dec. 6.

“The 2023 comprehensive budget provides historic support to health, quality of life initiatives, homeless system assistance and environmental sustainability investments,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “Additionally, all of the county’s priority deferred maintenance was funded including much-needed improvements at parks, recreation centers and buildings throughout the county system.” 

The library tax increase will amount to approximately $30 per household annually for the average home in Salt Lake County valued at $560,000. The adjustment bumps the rate from .000386 to .000485. The library tax has reportedly not seen an increase in 10 years.

This additional funding will support library system updates and address pressures brought on by inflation. According to the county library, approximately 880,000 people live within the county library boundaries and about 2/3 of them are active library card holders.

Other than a tax increase, the council has also approved a $2.5 million fund to build a temporary mental health receiving center at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute. The fund will cover the cost of expanding the institute and 17 months of staffing beginning in April 2023 until Fall 2024.

“These funds ensure we continue to provide exceptional care for patients in crisis,” said Michael L. Good, CEO of the University of Utah Health.

Another $1 million from the budget will go to establishing Kem and Carolyn Gardner Mental Health Crisis Care Center in South Salt Lake. These crisis centers are where law enforcement can send people experiencing mental health crises to get additional help and long-term treatment.

Another key initiative listed in the budget includes a $2 million investment in a tiny home village operated by The Other Side Village. The project provides permanent housing for the homeless in Salt Lake City and will be built on a 40-acre land near Indiana Avenue.

Funding from the 2023 budget will also reportedly go into creating more bike lanes and safer sidewalks, covering the capital costs of a new community health center for the Utah AIDS Foundation and upgrading the irrigation infrastructure in the county’s parks and facilities.