Providing housing and combating inflation top the early priorities outlined for Missoula’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget, which was unveiled this week.
Although city staff did not release any firm numbers for the upcoming budget, they did outline the main focus areas for financial planning efforts.
They identified achieving organizational excellence, access to quality housing, investments in community safety and wellness and investments in the built and natural environment as key priorities for the approaching fiscal year.
The city will meet with individual departments to go over their budgets in the next few weeks, and the budget will be finalized in August.
City Chief Operations Officer Eric Hallstrom said inflation and a lack of tax increases during the COVID-19 pandemic will likely pose challenges for the budget.
“Inflation is a story that you will hear from all of us consistently,” he said. “The choices we have made to hold the line on taxes throughout the pandemic continues to exacerbate some of those pressures around structural imbalance.”
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Going forward, Hallstrom said it would be prudent to focus on one-time needs, rather than long-term goals, and to look at