Metro Council members bring budget talks to the people

Metro Council brings city budget talks to the public

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Time is ticking for Metro Council as they try to weigh their options on how to close the $65 million budget gap.

Some council members are taking it to the people, answering questions and discussing what those options would be in public meetings.

This issue has so many factors and we’re seeing a bunch of different plans on how to tackle it, so it’s really hard to get everything straight. There are so many people in the city that are unclear on what we can and can’t do to dig ourselves out.

That’s why Metro Council President David James said meetings like the one held on Saturday help. They get all the info out to the people and address questions directly.

Council members and city officials presented some of the options out there that include some form of cuts and tax increase.

During Saturday’s meeting, people mainly wanted to know if there was anywhere else the money could come from besides raising the insurance tax. Others wanted to know what impacts the raise would have on different zip codes.

“Most of them say they don’t want any of services cut and they don’t want to raise taxes, and I say well we can’t do both, that’s impossible,” James said.

James said this is a hard pill to swallow, but most come out of the meeting realizing that there is no other way. Chief Financial Officer Daniel Frockt stressed that the state has seriously limited the ways Louisville can raise revenue. He also stressed that this isn’t just a onetime deal. Louisville needs to have $65 million more than it does now moving forward.

The council has already begun to take action, voting to table an ordinance that would pay for city projects happening right now, last Thursday. Mayor Fischer’s office released a statement Saturday warning this now opens the city up to possible legal issues with those contracts.

The full vote on this budget issue will be March 21.

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