Knox Co. mayor publicly responds to sheriff’s budget increase request

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said he cannot increase pay for KCSO without increasing property taxes.
Knox County Mayor publicly responds to Sheriff's budget increase request
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 11:37 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs publicly addressed Sheriff Tom Spangler’s request to give a 30% increase to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office for pay raises. Jacobs said Spangler’s request is impossible, without raising property taxes.

“It’s not fair to give KCSO an absolutely massive pay increase, and then turn around and say we can’t do anything more for everyone else,” said Jacobs in his “Weekly Update” video posted to social media.

The mayor said the sheriff’s request would not be possible without a 14.5% property tax increase. He said the average homebuyer would have to pay $235 more to Knox County yearly.

“I have proposed an 8% increase for patrol and corrections officers below the rank of captain. That number would be the highest single-year increase in county history,” Jacobs said.

Meantime, Spangler addressed Knox County Commission on Monday, asking them to step in and increase the sheriff office’s cut of the county budget.

“I’m hearing already from other counties, they’re getting ready to pass their budget. So if we take this proposal that’s come from the mayor, we’re going to fall further behind again,” said Spangler.

Correctional officer starting pay starts at $39,471.56, and patrol officer starting pay starts at $44,814.87, according to K.C.S.O.’s website.

Spangler said his officers risked their lives daily and deserve a raise. “

I don’t want these these guys and gals behind me, and those that you don’t see in the support staff, I don’t want them to have to sit there and worry about going out working another job or us having to ask them to work over time when they’re already overworked,” Spangler said.

Jacobs argued a 30% increase for K.C.S.O. would be unfair to other county employees and taxpayers, who are getting a 3% raise.

Spangler plans to address Knox County Commission again. He said he would bring an adversarial lawsuit against Knox County, as a last resort, if he is unable to secure a raise for officers.

Jacobs said a lawsuit would be “unfortunate and expensive.”