Millions of public dollars … and tumbleweed

You wouldn’t know that the pedestrian bridge would cost you about $20 million to build from UT to South Knoxville.

Or that, particularly, there could be some last-minute changes to the proposed bonds that the city could issue for a public works building, the zoo, lakeshore park and the often-underwater Prosser Road.

Because the only people who attended the city’s budget hearings – which sets and explains the annual budget of more than $180 million of your money, Knoxville – were the city employees and elected officials making the decisions on your behalf.

That’s a lot of trust.

Even the public hearing, held conveniently at 5 p.m. so that people could get there after work if they wanted, had nobody signed up to speak. And things got pretty interesting by then. The entire story for today’s KNS was hung on what happened instead of the daylong hearing – a discussion on the debt that could be issued and the increasing pension costs.

Guess what? Those are the things most likely to affect (raise) your property taxes in coming years. Put in simpler terms: the decisions that city council, and your mayor make today will affect how much your pay in taxes tomorrow. Seen yet another way – enjoy your flat taxes this year, they could be rising in years to come.

Here’s that discussion cast through the lens of Dan Andrews, a pro over at The Knoxville Focus:

Form focus

… that’s the main assembly room of the City County Building, which I’m identifying for those of you who never step foot in there.

Meanwhile, things were somewhat routine for the day. The City Council doesn’t get the power of line-item veto in the budget recommendation from Mayor Madeline Rogero, who presented a budget that didn’t have a whole lot of crazy new spending for 2013-14. And not tax increase.

Outside of the proposed bonds, of course.

Here’s Nick Della Volpe doing a little Tai Chi to pass time, for those of you who missed it.


About Gerald

A journalist in Knoxville, TN. Work (mostly) inside and play (mostly) outside. I'm a part of the X or the Y generation. None of us claim the other.
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