KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs on Friday addressed an ongoing dispute with Sheriff Tom Spangler, who recently demanded a 30 percent pay raise for deputies.
Spangler recently went before the County Commission to request a a 30 percent pay raise for correctional and patrol officers ranked captain or below. Jacobs has proposed an 8 percent pay increase for patrol and corrections officers below the rank of captain.
In Jacobs’ weekly update video, which is published on knoxcounty. org and social media every Friday, he said that Spangler’s pay request would require a 14.5 percent, or 22.4 cents, property tax increase. On average, that would cost Knox County homeowners another $235 every year, according to Jacobs.
Jacobs said in his update that his proposed 8 percent raise would be the highest single year increase for those positions in county history and would not require a tax increase.
“You might have heard that it would require a seven cent, or 4.5 percent, property tax increase to fund the Sheriff’s proposal,” Jacobs said. “That’s not correct. It’s almost triple that because the seven-cent number doesn’t include long-term pension costs.”
According to Jacobs, granting the 30 percent raise would also not be fair to the rest of Knox County’s employees who are only receiving a 3-4% raise. He went on to explain that those employees work in hard, sometimes difficult, and even dangerous situations and listed specific situations where other employees were put in concerning situations for simply doing their jobs.
“It’s not fair to give KCSO an absolutely massive pay increase and then turn around and say we can’t do anything more for everyone else and that gets real expensive real fast.” Jacobs said.
To give teachers an equal raise, Jacobs said it would cost the county $120 million, or a 40% tax hike.
“The sheriff has threatened to sue if he doesn’t get his way. That would be unfortunate and expensive, and I hope that we can resolve this issue to everyone’s benefit.”
WATE has reached out to Knox County Sheriff’s Office for a statement from Sheriff Spangler.