Back to life: 2015-16 budget season begins

Budget season is upon us, which means that there are budget questions and budget (we hope) answers to come in Knox County.

Just this morning, Knox County Finance Director Chris Caldwell held a meeting with department heads to give out budget packets and a deadline: Feb. 9.

“If they’re not returned by the deadline, the finance department will do that for you, and you don’t want that,” Caldwell told the 50 or so county employees and department heads gathered in the large meeting room of the City County Building.

He didn’t send out details, and it’s a tad early to get hard figures from department heads, but there area a few things to expect for the 2015-16 budget:

  • No property tax rate increase. County Mayor Tim Burchett won’t have any of that.
  • Some natural growth. Sales tax collections have increased somewhat in recent months, a trend that will likely continue into this new year. That may be reflected in a modest expectation of increased returns.
  • Very conservative expectations. Caldwell is not one to see the future while wearing rose-colored glasses. Don’t expect to see major changes in spending.
  • A couple new projects. Bruchett won’t have a budget announcement without some new spending, and if future trends follow recent history, expect that to be in the area of veterans/senior care/schools.

For some context, here are a our story on the current year’s budget in Knox County.

And Burchett, shortly after the announcement last year:

On to other things.

Call it a holiday hiatus.

The doldrums often hit in the couple of months including Christmas and Thanksgiving in government, and this ‘ere blog took a little break too.

We’re back, and hoping to up the wonk quotient in 2015. Thanks for reading, Happy New Year.

About Gerald

A reporter 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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