Tuesday, the Knoxville City Council voted to approve Mayor Rogero's proposed budget on its first reading.
The proposed budget includes Knoxville's first property tax increase in a decade. Mayor Rogero says the 34 cent tax increase will close a $10 million budget gap tied to rising pension costs. This avoids having to dip into the city's reserve funding.
Members of City Council disagree on the budget.
"Most employees don't have pensions anymore and I think it's time for the city to follow suit," said Councilman Marshall Stair. "If you look back 10 years ago the pension contribution was $1.4 million; next year it's going to be 23.4. That's a $22 million increase; that's what's caused this tax increase."
"We haven't even started our discussions and to start saying you know 'I disagree with that' or 'I disagree with this' I think it's premature. We haven't done our diligence yet; we just got the budget last Thursday," said Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis.
The city charter says the council shall pass the budget on first reading. City Council will hold a council workshop on May 21 to continue discussion on the budget before it votes again on the budget.