Jackson mayor, town council to look for budget solutions in 2024

Mayor Hailey Morton Levinson discussed the budget, affordable housing and infrastructure improvements at the annual state of the town address.
Mayor Hailey Morton Levinson addresses a crowd of around 15 people — largely town staff and supporters — at her annual address in the town chambers. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

Mayor Hailey Morton Levinson considered the past year’s accomplishments and discussed 2024 goals to about 15 people in the town chambers at her fourth annual state of the town address Wednesday. 

Morton Levinson said one of her goals this year is finding solutions to the town’s about $4 million budget deficit. The town of Jackson could go off a budget cliff in the next few years if it doesn’t make some changes.

“In recent years, we have seen exponential growth rates of 50 to 70% in some departments in the demand for our services — things we depend on every day,” she said. “Our community needs have grown and our budget is being challenged to keep up.”

Potential solutions include having the county pay more for joint services like Fire/EMS, cutting services, increasing fees and raising taxes. 

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“Fiscal responsibility is one of our mandates as electeds, and the town is facing an impending challenge to maintain a balanced budget beginning in 2026,” Morton Levinson said.

A graph from a recent town of Jackson agenda showing the town’s revenue and increasing expenditures over the next few years. (Screenshot)

Morton Levinson also highlighted ongoing affordable housing developments and infrastructure improvements, such as the Flat Creek Apartments and a development on Virginian Lane. A new public works maintenance facility and an updated recreation center are both slated to open this year.

My family and I are excited to enjoy the new amenities,” Morton Levinson said, “including an indoor walking track and outdoor splash pad for hot summer days and a state of the art climbing gym designed by experts from other parts of the country.” 

This is the mayor’s final year of her term. She’ll be up for re-election in November if she decides to run. The full address is available to watch here.

Mayor Hailey Morton Levinson wraps up her 2024 state of the town speech with a big smile. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

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