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Ed Mitchell, Blount County Mayor
Mayor’s Commission Summary – June 2020
FY 20-21 Budget for Blount County Government
Blount County Commission considered the County’s Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget at their Thursday, June 18, 2020 meeting. Three Resolutions make up the Budget including the FY 20-21 Tax Levy Resolution, the FY 20-21 Appropriations Resolution, and the FY 20-21 Capital Outlay Resolution.
It’s important for our citizens to know the details of all budget items approved for the continued operations provided by Blount County Government. 2020 has been a year unlike any we’ve ever experienced. Our community has been vigilant in fighting together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We are blessed in Blount County to have such a loving and supportive community, and that’s never been more true than now, in the times we’ve been facing. The unknown economic impact of COVID-19 on our entire community guided all decision making by Blount County’s leadership as to how to move forward with the FY 20-21 budget.
Unfortunately, it’s not over yet. As we have all been impacted, I am thankful to the Commission for passing a budget that maintained the current property tax rate for our citizens without using any of the County’s fund balance (Fund balance is also known as rainy day account, reserves, or savings account).
The FY 20-21 Tax Levy Resolution with amendments to the exhibit (detailed revenue estimates for all funds) was approved, keeping the property tax rate at $2.47 on each $100 of assessed taxable property.
There is therefore no property tax increase for Blount County, and the revenue distribution is unchanged from last year as well.
The property tax rate distributes revenue into the following funds:
$0.88 General County
$0.44 Debt Service
$0.03 Gen. Admin. Capital Projects
$0.98 General Purpose Schools
$0.14 Education Capital Projects
The following amendments were made to the supporting exhibit, setting forth increased revenue for the School Department:
To reflect the COVID-19 Federal Grant (Fund 142) of $1,961,847.
To reflect increase Sales Tax revenue (Fund 141General Purpose School Fund) by$928,500 for a total Sales Tax revenue for Fund 141 of $16,628,500
To reflect a reduction in Basic Education Program (BEP) funding that the schools will be receiving from the State of TN. The State removed the 2% raise for teachers out of the BEP formula, causing the total funding to be reduced by $537,000. The total BEP revenue budgeted (Fund 141) is $48,560,000.
The FY 20-21 Appropriation Resolution was passed by Commission, with two amendments.
The Resolution includes no use of fund balance in any operating fund
No salary increases for County employees at this time to hopefully be reviewed and reconsidered when revenue impact from COVID-19 is determined
Amendment 1: Increase School Funds to reflect increased revenue as mentioned in the exhibit to the Tax Levy Resolution to include expenditure increases: $391,500 for Fund 141 (General Purpose School Fund) and $1,961,847 for Fund 142 (Federal Schools Project Fund). These amendments reflect a balanced budget for the overall General Purpose School Fund of $92,463,000, and a total budget for Federal Schools Project Fund to $8,879,847.
Amendment 2: Fund 177 (Schools Capital Project Fund) reduced by $5.7 Million dollars to $0.00. The full amount of revenue remains budgeted for the Schools’ use from this fund; however, this Amendment requires the School Department to submit budgets for each project to be funded from Fund 177 to the Commission.
The FY 20-21 Capital Outlay Priorities Resolution was approved with amendments. The Resolution includes a list of capital items/projects in the following categories
A) remain funded until completion
B) be funded as part of the FY 20-21 budget recommendation, or
C) research ways of funding, for those capital items prioritized but not yet supported by current fund levels.
Amendments to remove Fund 177 designation under Category B for the Lanier Sewer Renovation Project, so that the funding for Phase 1 can be determined by the School Board, and to move the High School Renovation Projects to Category A.
Full Budget Details can be found on our website: https://www.blounttn.org/152/Budget
A video of the meeting proceedings and complete minutes from all items on the Commission Agenda can be found at: http://www.blounttn.org/1462/Meeting-Packets-January-2017-to-Present