Mayor opens budget hearings with no tax increase pledge
March 26, 2013 06:01 PM
Reported By Chris Bundgaard, Reporter - bio | email
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Unlike last year when Nashvillians saw their property taxes go up an average
of several hundred dollars a year, Mayor Karl Dean made special note there will
be no such increase as he opened the first day of his budget hearings for all
"Let me be clear from the outset to take whatever suspense there may be
in it," said the Mayor in his initial remarks. "We will not be asking
for additional revenue to cover budget needs. We will not be proposing any
additional property tax increase."
The past fiscal year the Metro Council approved a property tax rate increase
of 53 cents to raise about $100 million dollars in additional revenue for what
became a $1.7 billion dollar budget.
The additional revenue went to things like salary increases for Metro
workers, 100 more teachers and school building repairs.
This year the mayor asked each department head to consider a scenario with 2
percent cuts, but that kind of decrease is far from certain as the budget
process is just beginning.
First up was police, which is one of the largest Metro departments outside
of public education with nearly 1400 sworn officers and 1900 full-time
"We are asking for a net increase of $4 million dollars," said
police Chief Steve Anderson.
He said the largest portion of this will be nearly $1.2 million for staff
and equipment for the department's first-ever DNA crime laboratory.
The Mayor also heard from other public safety departments like the Nashville
Fire Department, the Office of Emergency Management and the Davidson County
Emergency Communications Center
director Duane Phillips said he hopes the budget will include 15 more
Acting fire Chief Billy Lynch told Nashville's
News 2 the cross-training of new firefighters for Emergency Medical Technician
(EMT) skills allows for expanding service while not asking for additional
Departments such as the Fair Board, Municipal Auditorium and the Farmers
Market are scheduled for budget hearings Tuesday afternoon.
The Mayor said his eventual budget will be presented to the Metro Council on