County Departments Face 7.2 Percent In Budget Cuts

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

Keeping the Cannon County property tax rate at its current level would require an across-the-board cut of 7.2 percent from every department in county government.

At a meeting of department heads at the courthouse Monday afternoon, County Executive Mike Gannon said total cuts of $345,234 would be needed to keep the tax rate at $2.32 on each $100 of accessed property.

Last week the Cannon County Commission rejected a 15-cent property tax increase and instead sent the proposed budget for the current fiscal year back to the commission’s Budget Committee to determine what would take to balance the budhet if there was not an increase in the rate.

“At the last commission meeting we again failed to get a budget,” Gannon told the department heads. “I had a retired state auditor refigure the numbers over the weekend and what he came up with was a 7.2 percent cut from every department.

“I am going to present that information to the Budget Committee tonight,” Gannon said.

The Budget Committee is scheduled to meet at 6 tonight at the courthouse.

“I have no idea if it will pass,” Gannon said. “Anybody’s guess is as good as mine.”

A 7.2 percent decrease would hit some departments harder than others. The sheriff’s department/jail would lose a combined $115,420. The ambulance service would have to trim $63,225 from its budget. The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office would have to cut $14,528, County Executive’s Office $12,403, Election Office $11,201, Trustee $9,541, Property Assessor $8,434 Chancery Court $7,936 and General Sessions Court $6,994.

The building maintenance fund would have to be cut $15,582 and building insurance $16,060. The library would face a reduction of $7,510.

The total cuts amount of $345,234 represents a little over 17 cents of the current property tax. The Budget Committee originally proposed to the full commission an increase of 20 cents.