County's spending may increase over $500,000
Kevin Halpern | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cannon County Budget Committee has issued a proposed General Fund budget for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1. It still must be approved by the county commission and eventually the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.
During fiscal year 2017-2018, which ended on June 30, the county spent $268,755 less than what was budgeted in the General Fund.
In addition, revenues collected were $8,022 more than what was budgeted.
At the end of the last fiscal year (June 30), the General Fund had $777,552 in reserves.
The proposed budget for the current fiscal year (2018-2019) increases actual spending from last year by $517,645. The proposed increase in spending is $248,890 more than what was budgeted last year.
On the income side of the equation, estimated General Fund revenue for 2018-2019 is expected to be $87,042 more than last year.
The amount of money expected to be in General Fund reserves by the end of this fiscal year is $833,155 -- an increase of $55,603. General Fund reserves increased by an estimated $486,206 last year.
The county is currently under a fiscal management plan, adopted early last year at the urging of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, to have a General Fund reserve balance of 25 percent of yearly operating expenditures by the end of the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Currently that would equate to around $1.4 million -- over $550,000 more than what it is estimated to be by the end of this fiscal year.
A significant portion of the additional General Fund revenue for this year would come by way of the General Debt Service fund if the budget is approved.
Last year, the commission set aside 18 cents of the property tax rate for that fund. The proposed budget for this fiscal year drops that amount to half a penny. Some of the money which was going to General Debt Service is also being redistributed to the Ambulance Service and Solid Waste.
Salaries account for nearly half of the General Fund expenditures, at $2,641,535, while other costs total $2,777,942.
The General Fund includes the following major departments: Sheriff, Jail, County Clerk, Circuit Court Clerk, County Executive, Clerk and Master, Register of Deeds, Property Assessor and Trustee.
It is estimated property tax revenue will fall about $31,500 this year, after rising almost $500,000 last year.
About $500,000 of the county's revenue comes from state grants, taxes and contracts. In addition, fees, fines and contributions bring in over $615,000.
Expenditures include mandated state raises for elected and appointed county officials of at least $3,000 apiece.
Broken down by some of the major departments, the proposed 2018-2019 budget for the General Fund, Ambulance and Solid Waste show the following with respect to actual estimated expenditures this year, and what was budgeted last year:
• Increases spending in the County Executive's Office $6,368 ($209 more than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in the Election Commission Office $7,436 ($2,527 more than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in the Register of Deeds Office $3,182 ($3,930 more than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in the Property Assessor's Office $11,556 ($6,827 less than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in the Trustee's Office $11,622 ($4,825 more than budgeted last year) .
• Increases spending in the County Clerk's Office $123,564. (NOTE: This office is switching from a fee-based office to a salary-based office).
• Decreases spending in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office $15,472 ($9,877 less than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in General Sessions Court $2,261 ($2,066 more than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in Chancery Court $3,615 ($3,614 more than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in Juvenile Court $1,359.
• Decreases spending in Probation Services $4,610 ($1,368 less than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in the Sheriff's Department $79,640 ($49,902 more than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending at the Jail $45,772 ($97,422 less than budgeted last year).
• Increases spending in Fire Prevention and Control $3,993 ($7,896 more than budget last year).
• Decreases Solid Waste spending $63,643 ($22,681 less than budget last year).
• Increases Ambulance Service spending $45,334 ($217,398 less than budgeted last year. NOTE: Last year's budget included a capital outlay note of $261,000 for a new ambulance, which has yet been purchased.)
The proposed tax rate following this year's reassessment is $2.3839 on each $100 of taxable property, down from $2.89. Of that, $1.31 will go to County General, 16 cents to Solid Waste, 22.39 cents to Ambulance Service, 68.5 cents to Schools and one-half of a cent to General Debt Service.
Last year $1.53 went to the General Fund, 15 cents to Solid Waste, 18 cents to Ambulance Service, 85 cents to Schools and 18 cents to General Debt Service.
Last year each penny of the property tax rate generated $20,335 in revenue. This year a penny will generate $24,533.
The county commission is scheduled to consider the proposed budget and set the tax rate at its Aug. 16 meeting.