KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon outlined the proposed 2023-2024 budget, featuring an unchanged city property tax rate and major investments into the Western Heights neighborhood.

The annual State of the City Address was held in the Western Heights neighborhood, where the city plans to investment $26.5 million of a $40 federal HUD grant in infrastructure and financial assistance for affordable housing.

Transforming Western is a really big deal. There’s going to be over $200 million of investment from the public and private sector, the city is putting in $26 million to improve the housing and transportation,” Kincannon said. “We’re going to add a park here and bring the fine arts center here, it’s going to be a great new investment for the people who live here now and encourage more people to choose Western Heights and Beaumont for their community.”

This years budget continues to focus on public safety but another big talking point centers on new investments in public infrastructure and support for affordable housing.

“I think our biggest challenge in our community is housing,” she said. “This budget supports more affordable housing and also helps those wanting to build private sector housing.”

The city’s property tax rate remains unchanged at $2.1556 per $100 of assessed value. A city release calls it is the lowest tax rate since 1974.

With more than 3,800 new building permits waiting to be processed, the mayor is budgeting for the addition of two new positions to facilitate approvals.

“We need more people to process those permits and applications in an expeditious and fair manner so we are adding staff to that and improving our processes,” Kincannon said.

Other major investments include $2 million towards ongoing renovations of Lakeshore Park, $1 million to convert the site of the old Sam E. Hill School in Lonsdale into a community park, and $4.5 million for infrastructure projects around the multi-use stadium coming to East Knoxville.

She also added that the energy from the neighborhoods is not going unnoticed.

“You can feel the energy. Our momentum is unmistakable. As our poet laureate said, this space is one that we share.”

“A great city is like a great party, you want to stay longer than anticipated,” Kincannon said.

Efforts to secure funding for the long-discussed pedestrian bridge over the Tennessee River remain ongoing. The budget includes $100,000 towards additional design work.

Visit for more details and to read the entire 254-page budget.