This morning, CM Tanaka Vercher, who is Chair of the Council Budget & Finance Committee, has released a proposed amendment to her Substitute Budget. I have reviewed her amendment and support it.
As a starting point, here’s my post from a few days ago about the five budget proposals.
In a nutshell, she and I were 5.2 cents apart on the proposed tax rate. Her amendment essentially splits the difference and she now is proposing a rate adjustment of 49.8 cents, which would move Metro’s combined property tax rate to $3.653. Her amendment would:
- provide $50 million new MNPS funding (which is about $22 million more than the Mayor’s proposal); this is adequate to provide a 4% cost of living increase and a step increase in salaries;
- fund 9 new firefighter and 20 new police positions;
- allow for extended community center hours;
- provide an additional $6.15 million in funding for WeGo Transit;
- provide new Codes Department positions; and
- expand support for important non-profits in Nashville.
I’ve updated my chart comparing the various proposals here.
This is not exactly what I wanted to achieve, but it is pretty close. And I have to give Chair Vercher credit — her final product covers fire, police, library, transit, plus 4% COLA and a step increase for MNPS, plus stockpiling money for the expected 2020 next Metro bond issuance, and saves a material amount for next year’s raises. I think that’s a good final product.
Here’s the statement of support I am issuing through the Metro Council office: