Public weighs in on budget cuts at Metro Council talk

Public weighs in on budget cuts at Metro Council talk
Members of the public sit at a budget meeting. Metro Council is tasked with approving an insurance rate increase to raise revenue or allowing $65 million of deep cuts to the city's budget.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Metro Council members in Districts 21 and 15 held a meeting Saturday to talk about possible budget cuts, the rising pension costs and the mayor’s proposal to raise taxes on some types of insurance.

Two democratic council members, Nicole George (District 21) and Kevin Triplett (District 15), hosted Saturday’s meeting at the Iroquois Branch of the Louisville Library.

The goal was to allow constituents to ask questions about the pension and budget problem--and talk about possible solutions.

Residents at the meeting wanted to know how much more they’ll pay under the tax increase, or how much will be cut if taxes aren’t raised.

Louisville is facing an impending budget crisis, which the city says is largely due to the increase in pension contributions required by Kentucky Retirement Systems. That increase has led to a shortfall--which could lead to deep reductions in Metro services if the city doesn’t have enough money to bridge the gap.

Metro Council will decide whether or not the mayor’s plan to raise revenue is approved. If it passes, the measure would raise insurance rates for residents. If denied, the city faces $65 million in budget cuts.

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For George, it was encouraging to see the number of people that showed up on Saturday.

“It really is a testament to just how much people care and that they understand what’s at stake and I love it,” George said.

The presentation included a breakdown of pension costs and the impending budget cuts.

People were also able to talk to their legislators to get a better understanding of how things work in Frankfort.

The Metro Council Budget Committee will hold two public hearings to gather input on Mayor Fischer’s proposal to raise taxes on insurance (excluding auto and health insurance).

The schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, February 28 – Public Hearing beginning at 6:00 p.m., at the conclusion of the regular committee meeting.    
  • Monday, March 4 – Public Hearing beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Members of the public who wish to speak at a meeting must sign up at least one hour prior to the start of the hearing, and will have three minutes to make comments.

Residents can also submit questions to the Budget Committee online using this form.

All questions should be submitted by March 6 to allow for responses to be posted online by March 14.

General information on the budget cuts, pension contributions and the proposed insurance premium tax can be found here.

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