Home Local News Mayor Cooper files proposed FY24 Operating Budget

Mayor Cooper files proposed FY24 Operating Budget

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Mayor Cooper delivering the 60th annual State of Metro at James Lawson High School.

Mayor John Cooper has filed his proposed FY24 budget to Metro Council for their consideration. Mayor Cooper previewed some of the budget’s key priorities at last week’s 60th State of Metro Address.

This year’s proposal reflects $3,218,202,300 in total revenue, which is a 6.2% increase, or $188M, from the FY23 operating budget. It also fully achieves the new fund balance policy passed by Metro Council, which holds two months of operating expenditures and 50% of annual budgeted debt service in reserves.

In addition, Mayor Cooper is proposing an additional $125.7 million in one-time capital spending and additional reserves as a result of surplus funds available after meeting Metro’s fund balance policy threshold. The Metro Council ordinance establishing the new policy directs that any surplus be used for one-time, capital expenses, debt reduction or the establishment of additional reserves.

“In the past four years, we have course corrected on years of underinvestment and made generational improvements in our most important priorities: education, public safety, housing, infrastructure and other core government services,” said Mayor Cooper. “This year’s budget builds on those efforts, investing in what works and innovating to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Nashville’s future is bright, and this budget helps create a platform for a successful city for decades to come.”

Cooper’s FY24 budget includes $99,970,300 in new operating spending for Metro Nashville Public Schools; nearly $50 million in new spending to increase wages for Metro employees; significant funding increases for affordable housing, including the Barnes Fund at $30 million; new investments to combat homelessness, including establishing a new Office of Homeless Services; fully funding all staffing requests for sworn officers, EMS and firefighters; and an emphasis on continued stability of waste management and furthering our capacity to address litter.

According to the Mayor’s Office, this year’s budget reflects Mayor Cooper’s consistent priority of ensuring our students have the top-quality resources and facilities they need, while our teachers are receiving the pay they deserve. In addition to the nearly $100M in new operating spending for our public schools, this budget fully funds continuity of service and four percent COLA and steps for Metro Nashville Public School Employees. Additionally, it calls for:

  • A pay increase for principals and associate principals;
  • $10.8M to fully expand a national best practice pilot program called Classroom Associates to fix a broken substitute teacher system; and
  • $8M for no-cost meals to ensure every single student receives a free school lunch.

Other highlights of Cooper’s budget includes:

  • $15M for increasing police pay
  • $10.7M for increasing fire pay
  • Forty-nine new EMS positions and 39 more firefighters
  • Additional police officers to fully staff the 9th Police Precinct in Southeast Nashville
  • Recurring funding for MNPS’s SRO program
  • Fully funds operation for all Parks Community Centers to be open on Saturdays
  • Increases funding for library staffing in our branches
  • Provides Community Court navigators and program support
  • Bolsters Social Service program focus and staffing on vulnerable elderly
  • Increases operational and provides $7.3M of capital funding for the Nashville General Hospital
  • An almost $10M increase to the Metro and Regional Transit Authorities
  • $2.6M of Better Bus Enhancements.

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