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Largest budgets ever approved for the city of Lexington + University of Kentucky


UK expects an ~6,500 first-year students beginning in August 2024. | Photo by LEXtoday

Two large entities — the city + the University of Kentucky — approved their FY 2025 budgets last week with a combined total of $8.9+ billion. Let’s dig a little deeper into these dollars, shall we?

University of Kentucky

We’re kicking things off with record-setting $8.4 billionyes, that’s billion with a B — budget for the University of Kentucky. And while that is a huge number, it covers all three facets of the organization — the hospital system ($5 billion), the university + academics ($3.1 billion), and athletics ($216 million).

Here’s some fast facts:

  • This budget is 23% larger than last year’s — a $1.6 billion increase.
  • $18 million is allotted for a salary increase pool for UK employees. Fun fact: UK is the largest employer in the city.
  • A 2.2% tuition increase for undergraduate students means: in-state tuition will be $6,751 per semester + tuition for out-of-state students will be $17,070.
  • UK projects student enrollment for fall 2024 to be ~35,000.
  • The university system will receive $359 million in state funding — see how it will be spent.
  • $2 billion of the UK Healthcare budget will go towards the construction of new a hospital tower.
An aerial shot of downtown Lexington.

The FY 2025 budget will go into effect on July 1, 2024. | Photo courtesy of @femibranded

City of Lexington

The Urban County Council also unanimously approved the city’s largest budget ever last week at $532.9 million. You can find a deeper dive in our previous coverage.

But, here are some high-level fast facts:

  • This year’s budget is a 5% increase over the current FY 2024 budget of $505 million.
  • Mayor Linda Gorton has until Monday, June 23 to make any vetoes.
  • The spending for affordable housing has more than doubled from it’s typical amount of ~$2 million to $4.79 million.
  • Around $14 million, including grant money, city money, and borrowing, will be spent on paving Lexington streets.
  • The budget for the Office of Homeless Prevention and Intervention has also nearly doubled, going from $750,000 to $1.4 million.
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