Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Budget and Finance Committee recommends tax hike budget by 7 to 6 vote. However ...

In a surprise move the Budget and Finance Committee of the Metro Council voted to recommend a tax hike budget. The budget that was expected to be the Council budget that had been developed earlier by the committee shifted some funding but did not raise taxes. That no tax hike budget was sponsored by the Committee chairman Tanaka Vercher.   

The tax hike budget was sponsored by At-large Councilman Bob Mendes and barely won approval by the Committee by a vote of 7 to 6. Under the Mendes budget the tax rate for most property owners would increase by 50 cents which amounts to a 16% property tax hike. That tax hike would generate $150 million which would fund a cost-of-living pay increase for Metro employees and it would fully fund the school board's funding request.

Confusingly, the Council also recommended the no tax hike Vercher budget by a recommendation of 9 to 3.  So, the Committee is recommending both budgets which means the Committee is not making a clear recommendation. With no clear recommendation from the committee, we probably will see a floor fight on Tuesday night. For more details, see The Tennessean's coverage of this development at this link.

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