Budget down to the wire

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Courier Editor
Debate over Cannon County's impending budget is going down to the wire with the County Commission scheduled to vote Monday, Aug. 31.
The specially-called meeting is set for 5 p.m. In the courtroom of the Cannon County Courthouse.

The budget proposal calls for an across-the-board 2.75 percent cut and raising the county's property tax by 15 cents. Commissioner Glenn Steakley introduced the proposal, which was in turn unanimously approved by Budget Committee members.

If a proposed wheel tax is passed, 13 cents could be eliminated from the following year's property tax.

The budget hike is basically the result of two factors. First, was a near shortfall in Cannon County's general fund this current year. Secondly, was due to action by the Tennessee State Comptroller's Office pushing Cannon and other counties to maintain a minimum fund balance. In Cannon's case the recommended balance was approximately $600,000.

If approved, Cannon County's budget for the next fiscal year will generate a general fund balance of $538,600.
Budget Committee members voted for the 2.75 percent cut after determining a property tax increase of 19 cents would not generate sufficient funds to maintain the recommended $600,000 budget balance. The 19 cent increase would only generate $244,000, a figure far short of the state request.

Meanwhile, the state Comptroller's Office is keeping a close watch on Cannon County's budgetary process.

"Unless extraordinary circumstances prevail, the County Commissioners and County School System's Board Members are required to adopt a budget no later than Aug. 31st. Please note that the County has no legal authority to spend for operations, including its school system, after Aug. 31st if the Commission has not adopted an appropriation resolution by then," said Sandra Thompson, director of the office of State and Local Finance, in letter to commissioners and County Executive Mike Gann.

"We encourage the County Commission to meet the statutory requirement and adopt its appropriation resolution that legally authorizes expenditures for its general government and school system operations before Sept. 1st. The County should also adopt a tax levy resolution in a timely manner to permit collection of property taxes due and payable on the first Monday in October. If you should have any questions or we may be of assistance, please feel free to call," Thompson said.

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Budget nears deadline
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