New CM Vercher budget amendment

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:

I have seen Chair Vercher’s amendment and support it. 
I appreciate Chair Vercher’s commitment to properly fund the Metro government both for this year and next year. We have been debating a tax rate adjustment since May 2018. It has taken a year of public discussion, but I am glad to see a growing consensus that status quo isn’t good enough. 
I believe Chair Vercher’s budget moves Nashville forward. Please join me in supporting her budget as amended.
CORRECTION: I updated the first bullet point to be accurate…my first post said there was $50 million more than the Mayor’s budget…but it is $50 million in new funding, which is about $22 million more than what the Mayor proposes.

Bob Mendes

Bob Mendes represents all of Nashville as a Council-At-Large member of Nashville’s Metro Council. He is Chair of the Council’s Charter Revision Committee, a member of the Metropolitan Audit Committee, and a member of the Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, Rules & Confirmations Committee, and Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee. Bob also practices business law at Waypoint Law PLLC. Bob’s complete bio is here. You can follow Bob @mendesbob.