Chattanooga City Council approves budget, including pay raises and property tax increase

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly speaks at the beginning of the 2021 city budget presentation inside of the City Council Chambers on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chattanooga City Council members unanimously approved Tuesday the city budget for fiscal year 2021-22, including significant pay raises for many city employees.

The approved budget includes a $30 million compensation increase plan for public employees, like police and firefighters, funded by projected increases in property tax revenue.

"I want to thank Chattanooga City Council for their leadership on getting this done for our essential workers, our first responders, and our residents. Now we're ready to get to work," said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly in a statement. "The steady leadership of Budget Committee Chairwoman Carol Berz provided our residents and stakeholders with an inclusive, thoughtful, and effective budget process that helped make our budget better.

"I also want to thank our essential workers and first responders who stepped into the gap for all of us during this unprecedented global pandemic.