Asheville City Council passes FY25 budget with key investments in top priorities


The $250.88 million budget; based on City Council priorities, community input, and staff work, reflects the long term strategies and priorities for funding in the next fiscal year (July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025). 

Council members voted to approve the budget during the June 11 City Council meeting.

The budget includes a change to the current property tax rate to  40.93 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. (an increase of $0.63)

The City also used $7.75 million dollars from fund balance to meet the needs and objectives of this year’s budget, leaving estimated fund balance at approximately 13.3%, which is 1.7%  less than the stated 15% policy target.


City staff used the following guiding principles in the development of this year’s Annual Operating and Capital Budget:

  • Essential service delivery – Ensuring departments have the resources required to meet service delivery expectations. 
  • Enhancing customer value – Ensuring efficient service delivery that improves the customer experience. 
  • Strategic alignment – Aligning resources (new and existing) to achieve community, Council and staff goals.

These principles remain in line with the priorities identified by City Council during their February retreat used to guide Council, City staff, and the City’s budget throughout the upcoming fiscal year.

City Councils 6 Strategic Priorities for FY25:

  • Neighborhood and Climate Resilience
  • Equitable, Affordable Housing and Stability
  • Improve and Maintain Infrastructure and Core Services
  • Reparations
  • Reimagining Public Safety
  • Homelessness Strategies

The strategic priorities of FY25 remain consistent with those identified by the City Council in previous years, allowing for continued focus and continuity of service for the community.  

Community Input

Community input, through the Budget Priorities survey and a public comment session on January 23 and the public hearing on May 28, was a factor in guiding the FY25 proposed budget. Priorities identified by the community included:

  • Service priorities include additional investment in: 
    • Affordable Housing & Homelessness 
    • Community Safety & Emergency Response 
    • Facilities Maintenance 
  • Strong support for the Community Responder Program 
  • Housing was a priority – along with  sidewalks, and road resurfacing also ranking high
  • Support for more comprehensive capital investments at fewer locations (e.g. streetscaping vs resurfacing only), and maintaining current resources.


The budget, which goes into effect July 1, 2024 allocates funding to meet those priorities for the benefit of City of Asheville residents, workers, facilities and services. Some highlights are listed below.

Reimagining Public Safety

Council members were presented a revised option of the original proposed budget to address public safety staff compensation increases. Increases in compensation for Police and Fire will bring  staff to the living wage rate.

Asheville Fire Department (AFD)

    • An 8.8% increase in compensation for starting sworn firefighters was approved, boosting the entry level on-shift Firefighter to $50,309.
    • Provides longer-tenured employees who are further in the step plan a larger dollar increase which helps maintain the integrity of the step plan.

Asheville Police Department (APD) 

An annual increase of 6.0% for sworn officers across the board, boosting entry level sworn  Police Officer pay to $50,309.

Also among increases for public safety staff, funds were dedicated to support safety programs including the Community Responder Program and Drone Program support.


Improve & Maintain Infrastructure and Core services

Fund employee compensation adjustments

Non-public safety staff will receive a 4.11-percent increase or $2,400 whichever is greater. 

Water Resources

    • Address maintenance needs of the water distribution system and water treatment plants.
    • Additional staff position to design and implement capital projects for water pumping, storage and treatment
    • Additional maintenance crew in south Asheville to improve response to leaks and breaks, minimizing service disruptions and water loss. Currently there is no dedicated staff for this area.

Enhanced Stormwater maintenance

    • Additional crew to provide for dedicated preventative maintenance/repairs crew and infrastructure replacement crew in conjunction with street resurfacing projects.
    • Additional positions to improve accuracy and timeliness of stormwater development reviews.

Funds for other identified needs

    • Begin to address identified maintenance needs in parking garages.
    • New crew to complete more timely street / sidewalk repairs. 
    • Support development of request for proposal, bid process, selection and transition (if needed) for transit operations and maintenance contract.
    • Ensure adequate staff capacity to complete daily collection routes of yard waste and brush collection.

Equitable, Affordable Housing and Stability

Ongoing and continued investments include:

    • Continuation of joint City/County Property Tax Mitigation Program
    • Housing Trust Fund
    • Land Use Incentive Grants
    • Development Fee Rebates
    • Federal HOME and HOME-ARP program management

Neighborhood and Climate Resilience

Ongoing and continued investments include:

    • Parks Maintenance Relocation
    • Neighborhood Matching Grants
    • Food Scrap Drop-off
    • Weatherization Program
    • Constituent services position to increase capacity in responding to inquiries

Homelessness Strategies

Ongoing and continued investments include:

    • Continuum of Care lead agency
    • Developing shelter plan with partners
    • Homeward Bound Street Outreach contract
    • Homeless Strategy Division
    • Code Purple and winter sheltering


  • $2.1 million reserved for reparations
  • $520,200 reparations allocation which reflects ongoing amount plus 2% annual increase
  • Continued staff support of the Community Reparations Commission

The development of the budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 focused on connecting funding with our community needs. The ordinance, the legal document which adopts the budget, has been signed by the Mayor and is posted online. The Adopted Budget Document will be posted on the City’s website in July.