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A city's budget is an extremely important document that serves as a road map for a community for a given period of time, typically twelve months.  When determining a budget, the city staff and city Council work together to balance the community's goals and objectives with finite revenues and day to day operational costs of the organization.  The ultimate goal is to provide quality services to Knoxville citizens and visitors in the most cost efficient manner possible, while also trying to cultivate an attractive and stable environment for steady growth of the community.

The City of Knoxville operates on fiscal years (FY) that run from July 1st to June 30th.  Given that the budget starts one year and ends the next the City often refers to a fiscal year as FY 12/13, as it starts in 2012 and ends in 2013.  State law requires that a community's annual budget be filed by mid-March of every year, therefore the City of Knoxville typically works on its budget for the upcoming FY starting in January.  Through this process the Council discusses community goals and priorities, and staff assists with revenue and expense analysis and putting the budget together.  It is a lengthy process through which the public is encouraged to participate as they ultimately are the stakeholders and benefactors of the services provided by the City.

The following is key information and points regarding the City of Knoxville's budget:

Community Goals and Priorities

A key measure of a city budget's effectiveness is if it is accomplishing what the community deems important and necessary.  The City Council is elected to represent the citizens and to make policy decisions reflective of the needs and desires of its citizens.  After significant discussion the main goals and priorities of the Council for FY 14/15 are:

  1. Spur housing and economic growth
  2. Strengthen Public Safety and address needs   
  3. Downtown Vitality
  4. Implement a community survey

For FY 15/16 they are:
  1. Road Improvements
  2. Walking/Biking Trails Installation
  3. Community Broadband/ Wireless Internet Infrastructure
  4. Housing Growth (including Senior Housing)
  5. Recreation Center Expansion
  6. Sidewalk repairs

Revenue Forecasts

A city can only accomplish as much as its resources enables it to.  The City of Knoxville receives revenue from several sources, but the main sources are property tax, local option sales tax (LOST), federal and state funding, and franchise fees.  The City is mindful that each of these sources come from citizens and therefore need to be utilized effectively and efficiently.  To keep the City financially healthy it is important to be mindful of trends in the revenues and to balance the expenditures with the revenue available. 

Revenue Trends 2013 - Power Point Presentation
Revenue Trends 2014 - Power Point Presentation (Added 1/21/2014)
Revenue Trends 2015 - Power Point Presentation (Added 1/20/2015)


Once the City has identified the revenues and resources available to provide delivery of community services, the Staff and Council work together to distribute the funds in a manner that meets community needs while maintaining financial viability.  Key expenditures usually include: debt payments, personnel costs, preventative maintenance of infrastructure and equipment, supporting key services and programs, and maintaining an adequate reserve to address unplanned expenses and emergencies.  The budget also includes the Council's and community's  goals and objectives for the upcoming year.  While Staff tries to address and curtail increases in costs as much as possible, like most businesses and employers the City often experiences rising costs in utilities, health care costs, personnel, fuel, and increasing purchasing costs of materials and supplies.

Proposed Balanced Expenditures for FY 13/14 - Power Point Presentation
Proposed Balanced Expenditures for FY 14/15 - Power Point Presentation (Added 2/14/2014)
Proposed Balanced Expenditures for FY 15/16 - Power Point Presentation (Added 2/18/2015)

All meetings and discussions throughout the above budget process occur in open public meetings.  Input from the members of the community is always welcomed and encouraged.  Once the Council and Staff have a balanced budget the City Clerk fills out the State required budget document, publishes it in the local newspaper, and a public hearing is held by the Council at a regular Council Meeting for final comments/objections of the public.

FY 13/14 Final Budget Documents Submitted to State
FY 14/15 Final Budget Documents Submitted to State

End of Year Report

Here is found information on how well the real revenues and expenditures came in compared to what had been projected.  Included is an overall performance, as well as a department by department breakdown.  Also included is a summary of the City's general reserves.

FY 13/14 Year end Report - Power Point Presentation (Added 8/2014)