It will be another lean year for the Metro Nashville government.
The city’s finance director, in
a recent budget memo, is telling department leaders not to ask for any discretionary funding increases this year — and to think about potential cost savings.
“While we understand that maintaining current funding levels will be a challenge, we can only consider required/mandatory budgetary improvement requirements given our anticipated revenue streams,” wrote Finance Director Talia Lomax O’dneal.
Departments are also being asked to make lists of ways they could raise more revenue, such as higher fees, and where they can avoid spending.
All of those ideas will be given to the new
Blue Ribbon Commission, which the Metro Council
created last year to hunt for government savings. The commission has been asked to make savings proposals by April 1.
The finance director does praise city agencies for being thrifty in the past year, as few have requested emergency cash, and “targeted savings are on track to be achieved.”
Metro is worried that some revenue streams are down — including from traffic tickets and the Hall Income Tax on investments, which the state legislature voted to phase out.
The pinch comes as Metro has increasing debt payments to make, and as new facilities open that will need staff and upkeep.
The memo says departmental budget hearings with Mayor David Briley are being scheduled for late March.