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Kingsport BMA set to vote on 'tough' budget Tuesday

Matthew Lane • Jun 14, 2014 at 7:43 PM

KINGSPORT — To say this has been a challenging financial year for the city of Kingsport would probably be an understatement.

It's been downright awful.

The words "tough" and "challenging" have been tossed around many times during last month's Board of Mayor and Aldermen budget work sessions. Mayor Dennis Phillips has described the current budget cycle as "the worst year ever," while City Manager John Campbell has said he has never seen a harder budget season.

The BMA is expected to vote on the 2015 budget during its regular meeting Tuesday night.

Kingsport officials have been dealing with a $2.3 million shortfall in its 2015 budget, and during a recent work session they proposed a variety of options to close the gap, from making additional cuts, increasing property taxes and creating a new garbage fee, to layoffs and salary freezes.

A $5 a month garbage collection fee was proposed to help offset the shortfall, but after a strong negative response from residents, the BMA quickly chose to drop that idea and go strictly with a property tax increase of 13 cents.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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