It’s the reason the city is pursuing LGE franchise fee
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 9, 2014) — Claims by some Republican Louisville Metro Council members that revenue growth for next fiscal year is sufficient to fund increases in public safety don’t take into account commitments already made by the council and Metro Government, the city’s Chief Financial Officer Steve Rowland said Thursday.
The city expects to generate about $18.4 million in new revenue — or 3.5 percent growth — from various sources (net profits tax, occupational tax collections, etc). But all of those dollars are committed to the basic rising cost of doing business, Rowland said.
Rowland detailed how the $18.4 million in expected new revenue is already committed — and many of these obligations have been approved by Louisville Metro Council in previous budgets or votes. Those commitments are:
♦ Increases in employee health care costs, $2.6 million
♦ Increases in union contracts, $6.3 million
♦ Non-union employee 2 percent pay raise, $1.3 million
♦ Tax rebate to General Electric (bound by contract), $1 million
♦ Increased cost due to two elections in FY15, $800,000
♦ City commitment to expiring COPS federal grant, $1.8 million
♦ Purchase of road salt for winter, $900,000
♦ Economic development commitment (Colonial Gardens, Nucleus, Renaissance Zone and 18th and Broadway Walmart) $1.5 million
♦ Street paving, $900,000
♦ Annualized expense of additional junk pick-up, $200,000
♦ Retired firefighters and police pension funds, $300,000
♦ Auto liability, $4000,000
♦ Various capital increases, $400,000
After all those commitments are paid, that leaves zero new dollars for public safety — and that is the reason Mayor Greg Fischer is seeking the LG&E franchise fee.
Louisville is seeking to increase public safety — including 24 new police officers on the streets, the creation of a Real Time Crime Center and improvements and investments in community centers for youth — following the March 22 violence outbreak.
Citizens and council members have made clear they want increased investment in public safety. The total new investments are $6.9 million — $4.8 of them for police and public safety, the rest for community centers and youth programs.
Rowland also said a separate proposal by Councilman Jerry Miller this afternoon to fund the public safety increases with a tax amnesty program sounds good, but it is a risky bet. That’s because amnesty dollars collected are one-time dollars while the public safety investments would be recurring every year.