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Breaking down Nashville’s 2023-2024 operating budget

Metro Council unanimously approved the FY 2024 operating budget — which totals $3.2 billion — in late June.

The John Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge spans the Cumberland River.

Breaking down Nashville’s $3.2 billion budget as we enter the new fiscal year. | Photo courtesy @angel.visuals

Table of Contents

Metro Nashville’s next fiscal year begins on Saturday, July 1, and with it comes the city’s largest operating budget at $3.2 billion.

We know number crunching is not everyone’s cup of tea, so we’re bringing you a breakdown of where the money comes from, how it’s spent, and the biggest budget takeaways.

The big picture

Balancing Metro’s budget each year requires down-to-the-penny management of revenue and expenses. Property and sales taxes make up the bulk of the city’s revenue and — if you’re skimming this story to find any increases — the new budget maintains Nashville’s property tax rate of $3.254 per $100 of assessed value. Here’s where the money comes from:

  • Property taxes: 51%
  • Local option sales tax: 23%
  • Grants and contributions: 15%
  • All other revenues: 11%

Now, let’s talk about where the money goes. A significant portion of the operating budget each year is allocated to MNPS, with this year’s school budget totaling $1.2 billion. Other city expenses include Metro services like public safety, transportation, and recreation. Here’s a breakdown of the spending:

  • Education: 37%
  • Public safety and justice: 20%
  • General government: 13%
  • Debt service: 13%
  • Health and social services: 5%
  • Infrastructure and transportation: 6%
  • Recreation and culture: 4 %
  • Other: 2%

Other numbers to know

Along with raises for Metro Nashville and MNPS employees, some of the other expenses in the budget include:

  • $12.2 million in one-time funds to support a rapid transit route connecting downtown and BNA
  • One-time funds for sidewalks ($7.5 million), traffic calming ($4 million), and NDOT’s Vision Zero plan ($12 million)
  • $25.6 million for Pre-K classroom additions and renovations
  • $1.75 million for one-time substitute teacher pay
  • $75,000 to support Metro Family Safety’s Safe Bar Program
  • $25,000 in additional funding for Nashville’s Sister Cities program, bringing the total to $95,000
  • $380,000 for new bus routes in Bellevue to support student transportation to the new Lawson High School

Of course, this only scratches the surface — dive deeper into the full FY 2024 budget.

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