Coomes Addresses Council On Revenue Predictions

by Gabe Bullard

The Louisville Metro Council has begun its budget review process. The two-week review began with a discussion of the economy.

University of Louisville economist Paul Coomes addressed the council’s Budget Committee. Coomes is largely responsible for the revenue predictions that the city budget is built around.

Last year, he anticipated a drop in revenue, but said the economy would likely begin to pick up. His prediction was accurate, and the current budget is built around a roughly one percent increase in revenue.

But Coomes says a full recovery isn’t yet on the horizon, as job growth could remain slow for the next few years.

“There’s only two places your occupational tax growth can come from…that’s increase in jobs or increase in pay per job,” he says. “Mathematically it has to be one or the other. I don’t see any big projects in the pipeline that are going to cause ten thousand new jobs in Jefferson County or even in the region.”

Coomes says it’s not clear which industry or technological innovation will fuel the economic growth necessary for a full recovery.

The budget hearings continue Wednesday with a public hearing at 1:00.