KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Knoxville City Council will hold its first reading Tuesday night for the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Following the mayor’s budget proposal in late April, the city council will hold its first reading of the proposed budget and tax ordinances at its May 3 meeting. Then, there will be a Knoxville-Knox County Planning Commission hearing on May 12; then a series of legislative budget and public hearings May 12-13. After the hearings, the city council will hold its second reading of the proposed budget and tax ordinances on May 17; then the first reading of the Capital Improvement Plan or CIP on May 31. The second reading of the CIP will be June 14 and the deadline to approve the budget and tax ordinances is June 15.

Last month, Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon announced the proposed budget priorities for the 2022-23 fiscal year in her State of the City address, which include a 50-cent increase in the property tax rate and higher salaries for first responders and city employees.

The proposal would increase the property tax rate to $2.9638 per $100 of assessed value. Under the proposal, a residential tax payer with a home appraised at $100,000 would pay roughly $10 more in monthly property taxes and the owner of a home valued at $500,000 would pay around $52 more per month.

According to the city, 80% of the increased property tax revenue would go toward funding people and core services costs like police, fire, public works and other government employees. Supplemental funding requests like for a new litter program, Medal of Honor and BassMaster events would make up 19% of increased tax revenue and the remaining 1% of new revenue would go toward pension cost increases.

The proposal comes amid a time Knoxville residents are in year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing rising housing and living costs as well as a growing population; and the city itself has been struggling with rising calls for emergency services as well as more than 130 city job vacancies.

Kincannon also said the proposed $546 million budget focuses on infrastructure, affordable housing and retaining quality employees so that the city can continue to serve. The budget she presented also includes a $16 million increase for city employee salaries.

The full proposed city budget is available on the city’s website.

The agenda for Tuesday night’s city council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. can also be viewed on the city’s website.