CHATTANOOGA, TN - The issue of take-home cars for Chattanooga employees — especially police officers — has been a topic of discussion by city officials for about two years, with debate ranging from adding take-home cars to the fleet to getting rid of the take-home cars altogether to charging employees for using them, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The Chattanooga City Council requested in early July that the mayor's office and finance department study a recurring or mileage-based user fee for city employees who use take-home cars.
To combat the cost of take-home vehicles, one suggestion has been to have a tiered structure based on mileage or residence.
Take-home car usage costs the City about $800,000 annually.
An earlier proposal from the council was to charge $50 every two weeks to employees who live within the city and use take-home cars and $75 for those who live outside city limits. That idea was ultimately dropped.
During a budget crunch in 2009, the City Council considered banning all employees from using city-owned cars when they weren't at work. But after a great deal of pushback from the police department, the council pulled $400,000 from traffic camera fine revenue to continue to fund take-home cars, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.