pie charts displaying "Where the Money Comes From" and "Where it goes,"
Haslam walked the audience through the proposed budget.
He said the city's main source of revenue is from property taxes,
which account for nearly half of the city's funds. Sales taxes provide
another quarter of Knoxville's revenue.
On the spending side of the ledger ensuring the safety, security
and well being of Knoxville's citizens is the city's biggest expense.
Nearly half of the operating fund budget is dedicated to supporting
the efforts of the men and women of the Knoxville Police Department
and Knoxville Fire Department.
Another substantial chunk of the budget is for the city's Public
Service Department, which maintains sidewalks, roads, right of ways
and makes sure the trash is picked up among its many missions.
The city will also pay $8 million to subsidize Knox Area Transit,
up 10 percent from last year. Over the last four years the city's
funding for KAT has increased from $5 million to the current $8
Haslam said operating budget spending would increase by about $7.5
million this year.
A little more than $4 million of that is for employee-related costs.
That includes a three-and-a-quarter percent raise for employees
and helps cover increases in health care and pension expenses.
Knoxville is also increasing the amount of money aimed at helping
its neighborhoods, including the creation of the new position of
Neighborhood Coordinator. He or she will operate as a liaison between
city government and neighborhood organizations to improve both.
Most of the $37 million in capital projects is aimed at making
Knoxville a better place to live and work by increasing development
in the city while making its neighborhoods stronger at the same
Other capital funds will be used to improve city facilities and
to buy new equipment.
Haslam said Knoxville is a city of neighborhoods and initiatives
that improve a neighborhood therefore make the entire city stronger.
"I believe that the investments we make in development enhance
our neighborhoods and the investments we made in neighborhoods create
more development," he said, "which also creates a greater tax base,
so we can keep your taxes low."
"It's critically important to invest in both," he concluded.
Among capital budget commitments are:
$4.5 million for paving 40 miles of roads
$2 million for the construction of new sidewalks and the repair
of existing ones, including an ambitious project on the 100 block
of Gay Street
$1.2 million for flood control work along First Creek in North
Knoxville. The city has already committed $3 million to the project.
$10 million for the South Waterfront Project with most of the
money going for infrastructure improvements needed to be in place
for private development.
More than $1 million to clean up or buy problem and blighted
properties and to support new construction of affordable housing
for citizens of modest means.
Other projects include money for the planning stages of Cumberland
Avenue redevelopment, improvements to the I-275 Business Park
and a better communications system for the KPD.
"As I present my fourth budget address and complete my first
term in office, I'm more convinced than ever that we're moving
in the right direction," Haslam said.