Mayor Kincannon Unveils Proposed Budget

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Mayor Kincannon Unveils Proposed Budget

Posted: 04/27/2021
Mayor Indya Kincannon today proposed her 2021-22 budget, which invests in the core, high-quality services residents expect, supports local partnerships to address tough challenges, and commits to continued progress to advance priorities like public safety and affordable housing.

  Click here to view Budget Highlights [PDF]
Budget Highlights
  Click here to view Proposed Operating Budget [PDF]
Proposed Operating Budget
  Click here to view Capital Improvement Program [PDF]
Capital Improvement Program
“A budget should be a clear, easy-to-follow roadmap that moves us as a city closer to where we want and need to be,” Mayor Kincannon said. “This budget reflects core values shared by my administration and the community, and it prioritizes spending accordingly.”

Five key priorities shape and drive this budget:

Public safety
Healthy and connected neighborhoods
A clean and resilient future
• Thriving businesses and good jobs
Good governance

For the past 15 months, COVID-19 has strained the health and economies of communities worldwide, and Knoxville was no exception. Last year’s City budget was austere, but there were no layoffs and no lapses in City services, Mayor Kincannon said.

“As responsible stewards of public dollars, we tightened our belts. Everyone in Knoxville has sacrificed this past year – some more than others,” the Mayor said. “I am not proposing any increase in property taxes. This proposed budget supports our community’s continuing recovery while we take big steps forward, together, toward our shared longer-term priorities.”

Public Safety

People deserve to be and feel safe in Knoxville, Mayor Kincannon said. The budget continues to provide robust funding to the Fire and Police Departments and supports Knoxville’s first responders. In addition, it reflects a $4.3 million commitment to local partnerships that support Knoxville in addressing specific safety-related needs, combating violence and crime, and addressing root causes of public safety challenges: 

• $1.9 million for core public safety partners, such as the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center and the Family Justice Center

$400,000 to expand KPD’s Co-Response Team, a pilot that began last year, pairing behavioral-health specialists with crisis-trained officers

$1 million for new violence interruption programs and partnerships to reduce homicides and address violent crime, including the launch of a CrimeStoppers rewards-for-tips program

About $500,000 to support health and mental-health service provider partners

More than $500,000 to assist local non-profits that provide safe places and enrichment programs for children and young people

Referencing the City’s continued commitment to a new Public Safety Complex at the historic St. Mary’s hospital site in North Knoxville, Mayor Kincannon also announced the creation of a Criminal Justice Career Path program in conjunction with Fulton High School.

“This is a strong example of how we can maximize the community benefits of City investments,” Mayor Kincannon said.

“Lincoln Memorial University has already begun offering nursing classes this semester at the former hospital campus, with many more classes and community services to come. This partnership with Knox County Schools will directly connect Fulton students with unique hands-on learning opportunities to strengthen pathways into public service.”

Healthy and connected neighborhoods

Mayor Kincannon emphasized the importance of affordable housing as Knoxville continues to grow and thrive. The proposed budget directs almost $8.2 million toward affordable housing, and jumpstarts a 10-year, $50 million funding commitment for a new Knoxville Affordable Housing Fund, which the Mayor will propose to City Council alongside the proposed budget. 

Major affordable housing investments proposed for next year include a $3.8 million contribution to the collaborative Austin Homes revitalization project, and a $1.5 million set-aside for Permanent Supportive Housing, a critical housing solution for individuals struggling with chronic homelessness.  

Other examples in this budget of putting funding toward promoting healthy and connected neighborhoods: 

More than $2 million for streetscape improvements in the Burlington District, investments inspired by the Burlington Enhancement Plan, developed by the East Tennessee Community Design Center in partnership with local residents and businesses

$1.5 million for the next phase of Waterfront Drive connectivity upgrades on the South Waterfront

$2.26 million for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and major multi-modal upgrades on Liberty Street and Washington Pike

$250,000 for neighborhood traffic-calming

$4.2 million budgeted for citywide park improvements

Mayor Kincannon also noted that the Northwest Greenway Connector and East Knox Greenway, two major greenway projects representing a combined $6.6 million investment, are progressing.

A clean and resilient future

Leveraging insight from the Mayor’s Climate Council, this budget supports the City’s commitment to fight climate change and protect Knoxville’s natural resources:

$15.3 million in direct City support for Knoxville Area Transit (KAT), including $1.2 million for matching grants as KAT continues to convert its fleet to all-electric buses

$150,000 for additional public electric vehicle charging stations and for charging infrastructure to support electrification of the City’s vehicle fleet

More than $4 million is committed to stormwater infrastructure and $721,000 is allocated to protect and expand Knoxville’s urban forest, both critical programs for resilience and a healthy environment

The budget also supports the Knoxville Convention Center's enrollment into the KUB/TVA Green Switch Match program, which will provide 100 percent renewable electricity to the facility. 

Although no funding is needed in the upcoming fiscal year, the City is partnering with KUB to support a community solar project at the City’s Public Works Service Center. Mayor Kincannon noted that Knoxville is now the top city in the Southeast for investing in solar power, thanks to the TVA/KUB Green Invest program.

Thriving businesses and good jobs

A healthy economy supports a healthy community, and vice versa. This budget increasingly makes Knoxville a great place to work, to invest, to visit, to start a business and to raise a family, Mayor Kincannon said.

She is launching a Developers Roundtable to look for ways to cut through red tape and make it easier for property owners to invest in their neighborhoods.

Other examples of Mayor Kincannon’s budget proposals that will create jobs and support employers:

From more than $1 million to support the City’s economic development partners, $90,000 in new funding will support business development in the city’s Latino community; $150,000 in new funding for the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center includes support for the 100Knoxville project to grow Black-owned businesses

$900,000 to support local non-profits that help families thrive by supporting community schools and promoting literacy and financial stability

Referencing the City’s goals to increase the amount of business it performs with diversity business enterprises, Mayor Kincannon also noted the budget’s support for an economic disparity study.

Good governance

“In everything we do, City employees are expected to act with integrity and transparency,” Mayor Kincannon said. “Our employees are innovative problem-solvers who deliver dependable, high-quality services while also demonstrating common sense and fiscal responsibility.”

As in past years, the budget includes a 2.5 percent salary increase for City employees.

Reflecting the City’s support for City Council’s December 2020 resolution recognizing systemic racism, the budget also provides $100,000 for facilitation of the African American Equity Restoration Task Force.

Other highlights of Mayor Kincannon’s proposed budget:

No tax increase; the property tax rate of $2.46 per $100 of assessed value remains unchanged, though financial analysts note that – when adjusted for inflation and countywide reappraisals – the tax rate is lower than it was 10 years ago

More than $10 million proposed for street paving, traffic signals and bridges

More than $1 million in local funding, supplemented by $4 million in federal funds, directed to help individuals experiencing homelessness

$750,000 dedicated to support Knoxville’s arts, culture and historic preservation

The net budget is approximately $384 million. Of that, the General Fund – which is the City’s main operating fund – is $253.6 million.

Mayor Kincannon’s proposed budget will be presented for first reading at City Council on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, followed by legislative budget hearings (Thursday and Friday, May 13-14) and a public hearing (5 p.m. on Friday, May 14). Council’s second reading of the budget is scheduled for Tuesday, May 18.

For supporting budget documents, see