Metro budget | Nashville Public Radio

Metro budget

Metro Council meeting
Metro Nashville Network

For the second straight year, Nashville teachers and city employees are asking the Metro Council to raise the property tax.

mayoral candidates
File photos / WPLN

As Nashville’s Metro Council works to finalize the city budget, members will be debating whether to raise the property tax. As that conversation swirls — and after a succession of tough budgets — WPLN asked the four leading candidates for mayor whether they’d be willing to allow a tax hike once elected.

Nashville MTA bus photo
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Despite widespread agreement that Nashville’s public transportation needs improvements, the city’s WeGo bus system will need to reduce services this year — and raise bus fares — if the mayor’s proposed budget is approved as it now stands.

Nina Cardona / WPLN

Nashville’s mayor has proposed an increase to city spending in his new budget out this week, with most of it intended for salary increases for school teachers and Metro employees.

But otherwise, it’s another cautious year, especially as the city sees much larger debt payments coming due. And to make it all work, many parts of the city government are being asked to make trims.

Mayor David Briley
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville is prospering, but the city could be doing more for the people who already live here. That was a key message from Nashville Mayor David Briley during his annual State of Metro speech on Tuesday morning.

Metro Council Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville has a long wish list of civic projects, like new fire stations, libraries, community centers, sidewalks and stoplights. But for decades, figuring out when your neighborhood’s project would get funded has been shrouded in mystery.

The jockeying for city funding has also been a source of political in-fighting within the Metro Council, as well as a cause of tension between the council and the mayor.

Nashville City Hall
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Metro Nashville is likely spending too much on firefighter and police overtime. And the city is failing to collect enough money from fees and permits, especially for short-term rentals.

Those are among a couple dozen findings from the “Blue Ribbon Commission,” which asked officials and local business leaders to spend the past four months hunting for better ways to run Metro government.

Music City Center

The popularity of Nashville’s convention center has begun to strain against its capacity, causing leaders to think about a new master plan for the facility.

Nashville flag Tennessee flag
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Metro’s budget hearings took on a more upbeat tone this year, reversing the feeling from 2018, when departments were being asked to make cuts and Metro employees saw their promised pay raises eliminated.

Now pay increases are back in the budget. And department leaders have been willing to ask for some funding boosts as they outline new programs and priorities.

body cameras
Flickr / West Midlands Police

The cost of equipping Nashville police officers with body cameras continues to rise as officials calculate additional behind-the-scenes expenses.