City budget, including tax increase, approved 6-3

(WBIR) The Knoxville City Council voted Tuesday to increase property taxes for city residents. It was part of Mayor Madeline Rogero's budget proposal, which passed easily.

There wasn't much opposition to the budget nor the tax increase.

Council voted six to three to pass the $200 million spending plan, which included a 34 cent tax increase.

At Tuesday's meeting, the only action against the budget came from councilman Nick Della Volpe. He proposed an amendment that could save the city around $6 million. His goal was to trim spending on things that weren't necessities, but no one supported his proposal.

Before council approved the budget, they gave a voice vote on the tax increase. It passed seven to two, which was a surprise to both Mayor Rogero and Della Volpe.

"Some people when they write to me say 'don't raise my taxes. Don't do anything you don't have to do. I want police, I want fire, I want trash picked up. The rubbish cleaned in the streets and the roads paved.' And there comes to a point where they don't want too much government," said Della Volpe.

"The city faces increased costs just like you do at home," said Mayor Rogero. "But every now and then we have to make up for that but we hope this investment that we are making will do more to spur the economy and delay any future needs for tax increases. I don't intend to bring another one."

According to Mayor Rogero, the tax increase is an investment in infrastructure. She hopes investments in greenways, nonprofits, bike lanes, and downtown improvements will improve the quality of life and contribute to economic growth.

She says her plan covers the basics while also promoting progress.


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