Mayor Kincannon's Proposed Budget Invests in Public Safety, Housing, Great Places and Services

Communications Director

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

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Mayor Kincannon's Proposed Budget Invests in Public Safety, Housing, Great Places and Services

Posted: 04/26/2023
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2023-2024 Proposed Budget [PDF]
Mayor Indya Kincannon today proposed her 2023-24 budget, which continues to prioritize public safety and high-quality core City services while providing the continued investment needed to maintain infrastructure, support affordable housing, and create great parks and public spaces to serve Knoxville residents.

The budget is balanced, and the City’s property tax rate remains unchanged at $2.1556 per $100 of assessed value – the lowest tax rate since 1974.
“The City’s fiscal health is strong,” Mayor Kincannon said, “and that allows us to invest wisely in core services and in strategic initiatives that will serve Knoxville well in the long run.

“I’m proud to propose this budget. It maintains our commitments to City employees and partners who help make Knoxville such a great place to live. And it reflects our priorities – public safety, building up our neighborhoods, creating economic opportunity, and becoming a greener and more resilient community.”

Mayor Kincannon unveiled her 2023-24 budget at the annual State of the City Address and luncheon in the Western Heights / Beaumont community – site of the “Transforming Western” initiative, a more than $200 million collaborative plan to revamp, renew and reconnect Knoxville’s largest public housing community.

During the address, Kincannon celebrated the people and investments that create and maintain great public spaces in Knoxville – and her budget includes funding for family-serving and community-building place-making throughout the city.

Some examples of City funding in the proposed budget that support the creation of unique and special public spaces:

“Transforming Western” – $4.2 million

Knoxville’s Community Development Corp. has been awarded a $40 million U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant, and Mayor Kincannon and the City are investing $26.5 million in infrastructure and financial assistance for affordable housing in the area over multiple budgets.

The new Western Heights community will prioritize access to transportation, jobs, health care, and technology, with new destination park amenities.

Lakeshore Park – $2 million

Mayor Kincannon is proposing direct City support toward the Lakeshore Park Conservancy’s $42 million project, underway since last year, that is adding baseball fields, pavilions, a new playground and new parking. Also being improved: lighting, roadways and drainage infrastructure.

Lonsdale Park – $1 million

More than $30 million in private-public partnership investments have been or are being made in Lonsdale – including a new Lonsdale Elementary School, the Haslam-Sansom Ministry Complex and a new $1 million City sidewalk on Texas Avenue.

With the old Sam E. Hill School now vacated, the City will be converting the site into a new community park.

Wee Course at William Creek – $100,000

The City is investing $300,000 over three years – this is the second installment – to fund improvements to the golf course cart paths, building and other infrastructure.

Multi-use public stadium – public plazas, Willow Avenue streetscape improvements and other public amenities near the City-Knox County stadium in East Knoxville – $4.5 million

The stadium, to be built and open in early 2025 to accommodate festivals, concerts, and professional baseball and soccer, will feature $14 million in City-funded public amenities. Mayor Kincannon’s 2023-24 budget includes $1 million for Willow Avenue streetscapes and $3.5 million for other public amenities – part of a total $14 million investment over three years.

Pedestrian bridge – $100,000

The proposed City-owned bridge spanning the Tennessee River would be a collaboration between the federal and state governments, the University of Tennessee, the City and other partners. The state is funding an initial $20 million grant, and the City is seeking additional grants from the federal government and other partners.

The City’s $100,000 in the 2023-24 budget would go toward additional design work.

The proposed budget focuses on the City’s core purpose of providing a stable foundation for safety, health, and the common good by providing high-quality services, creating and maintaining infrastructure, and working through partnerships to advance opportunity and address challenges in our community.

As is typical, employee compensation is the single most significant expense in the proposed budget, with the largest portion supporting operations of the Police and Fire departments.

Additional highlights of the proposed 2023-24 budget include:

• More than $4.5 million for local non-profit partners to complement City services. Example partnerships include:
    -  $2.2 million for long-standing public safety partners, including the Family Justice Center, ChildHelp, the Metro Drug Coalition, the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center, Young-Williams Animal Center, and others

    -  More than $1.5 million to local non-profits directly engaged in the critical work of responding to local health needs, including mental health and addiction, and providing safe and enriching programming for Knoxville’s youth (including Community Schools)

    -  $805,000 to support arts and culture non-profits, as well as public art partnerships

$7.5 million for affordable housing, including the $4.2 million for “Transforming Western” and also:
    -  $500,000 for permanent supportive housing for military veterans at a new facility to be called Liberty Place, in partnership with Knox County and others

    -  $2.5 million for the Affordable Rental Development Fund, which to date has worked with builders to create 1,500 new, energy-efficient, affordable homes for Knoxville families

Nearly $12 million to create and maintain safe streets for all types of users, including:
    -  $9.3 million – repairs and maintenance for roads, bridges, guardrails and signals

    -  $2.4 million – sidewalks, curb cuts and other pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, including creation of a separated greenway on Neyland Drive

    -  $200,000 – neighborhood traffic calming, continuing the progress started with a historic $1.25 million investment in the 2021-22 budget

$230,000 – initiatives to help achieve the City’s climate goals, including green fleet upgrades and community EV charging stations

$1.3 million – Support for economic development partners, such as the Knoxville Chamber, Centro Hispano and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center
    -  $100,000 to continue to support the Spark Cleantech Accelerator and companies focused on solutions to address the climate crisis
The budget also proposes expanded resources for a new, combined Department of Community Safety and Empowerment that will align the work of what previously had been two departments. The budget adds staff for the new department, as well as expands funding for community partnerships like Turn Up Knox and the work of the African American Equity Restoration Task Force.

The proposed net budget totals $432.9 million. Of that, the General Fund – which is the City’s main operating fund – is $304 million.

Mayor Kincannon’s proposed budget will be presented to City Council for first reading on May 2, 2023, followed by a legislative budget hearing and public hearing on May 9. Council’s second reading of the budget currently is scheduled for May 16, though City Council is expected to move the second reading to May 30.

For supporting budget documents, see