Knox County Commission approves revised budget, shoots down tax

Knox County Commission approves revised budget, shoots down tax increase

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County Commission passed Mayor Tim Burchett's revised budget proposal Tuesday afternoon by a vote of nine to two.

The changes to the budget are a result of the state cutting basic education program (BEP) funding for schools.

Previous story: Knox County Schools to receive less state funding than projected

Burchett initially presented an overall budget of $729,914,278. The new overall budget will be $727,014,278.

Previous story: Public hearing held for revised Knox County budget

The only department seeing a cut from the original proposal is the Knox County school system, which will receive $2.9 million less because of the BEP changes.

Commissioners Amy Broyles and Samuel McKenzie voted against the budget.

Broyles proposed a 21 cent property tax increase, which was voted down. Broyles said the money is needed for county employee raises including teachers. She said the increase would give the county another $21 million to use on raises and that too many county employees are underpaid.

"Their pay raises have not kept pace with the cost of living, not even close," Broyles said. "When you look at what we're doing here in Knox County, we're not taking care of our own and we are making them dependent on that federal bureaucracy that we all say we hate."

Several commissioners spoke out against it, saying the city is already considering a tax increase, leaving a bigger burden for homeowners in the city and county.

"We need a plan, a long term plan, if we're going to have a property tax increase so it lasts as long as we can get it to last," Commissioner Brad Anders said.

Only Broyles and McKenzie voted for the tax increase.
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