Louisville Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26, will return his two percent cost-of-living pay increase to the city’s general fund in upcoming fiscal year.
Each council member is paid approximately $42,500 annually and lawmakers are set to receive a raise of about $850 in the next budget. It's the first cost-of-living increase for non-union Metro employees in two years.
Ackerson says many city workers need a raise as the economy begins to steadily improve, but other costs are still going up.
“I don’t think that I as a council person in my situation need this raise. However, I recognize that our employees do need this raise,” he says. “The reality is their two percent raise likely won’t even cover the increase in their health care costs. At the end of the day our city employees will likely take home less dollars to their family than they did last year even with this raise.”
No other council members have announced plans to return their raises, but a spokesperson told WFPL that Council President Jim King, D-10, gave his raise to the Crusade for Children and that other lawmakers have discussed giving their money to charity.
Ackerson says city leaders will need to raise employee wages further in the future to catch up with the economic hit workers took during the recession.
“The reality of the situation is my family does not need this raise and in light of that I think it’s important to be a team player for the city,” he says.