THE HUNTER REPORT

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MAYOR HERRON FY 14-15 BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS

 

 COUNTY GENERAL SPENDING ... ROBBING PETER TO PAY FOR PAUL

EDUCATION PENNIES FOR COUNTY SPENDING!

BY: PAT HUNTER

 

On April 29, 2014 the Loudon County Budget Committee met for seven and one half (7 1/2) hour budget session. Loudon County Mayor Estelle Herron who serves as Budget Chair presented her draft FY 14-15 Budget, along with her recommendations to the Budget Committee. In attendance: Budget Chair Mayor Estelle Herron, and budget commissioners Don Miller, Roy Bledsoe, Bob Franke, and David Meers, and Ex-officio Secretary Tracy Blair (Finance Director). Others present: Commissioner Sharon Yarbrough, Rich Anklin, candidate for commission District 7 Tellico Village, and myself.

This is the second year in a row that Budget Chair Mayor Herron has prepared the county budget. The first two pages located in the FY 2014 - 2015 Budget Preparation Note Book included highlights BC-Mayor Herron's recommendations. "This recommendation is not intended to replace the Budget Committee's involvement in the budgeting process. Rather, it provides a starting point for discussion and consideration." Click MAYOR HERRON'S FY 14-15 BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS 

According to the Budget Chair Mayor Herron's budget document concerning the property tax rate, her recommendation is to maintain the same county rate however, she proposes shifting 0.03597 from the #156 Education Debt Service Fund (school building program) to the County General #101 (county operating budget). See table below for current rate and mayor's recommendation.

County Mayor Recommendation  

FUND

LOUDON COUNTY CURRENT

MAYOR'S RECOMMENDATION'S      FY 2014 - 2015 

 
County General 0.4789 0.5240  
Public Libraries 0.0130 0.0130  
Highway 0.0327 0.0334  
General Purpose School 0.9121 0.9121  
General Debt Service 0.0690 0.0690  
General Capital Projects 0.0154 0.0100  
Highway Capital Projects 0.0179 0.0172  
Education Debt Service 0.3597 0.3200  
  1.8987 1.8987  

On June 30, 2011, by a 6 to 4 margin, County Commission voted to approve property tax rate increase to Fund #156 Education Debt Service for new school facilities (Greenback School, and Loudoun Middle Schools, and two renovations projects, Philadelphia Cafeteria and co-joining the Loudon Elementary-Ft. Loudon Middle School buildings on Roberts Road).

Who will be affected by Budget Chair Mayor Herron's proposed recommendations; school building program for students, and Lenoir City property owners. While Lenoir City property owners do not pay the Education Debt Service Fund tax rate because of Lenoir City's School District, City property owners do pay for all other Funds in the property tax rate. Any shift of these pennies would result in a property tax hike to Lenoir City property taxpayers. 

Since the budgeting process has just begun, Mayor Herron and budget committee members have some options for their  consideration: cut county spending, dip into the County reserve funds (fund balance) or increase property taxes to pay for more spending.

Commission voted a property tax increase for schools and it should remain in the Education Debt Service for the students needs not county spending!  

 

FUND

LENOIR CITY CURRENT

PENNY SHIFT TO COUNTY GENERAL  FROM EDUCATION DEBT SERVICE  LENOIR CITY

PROPERTY TAX HIKE INCREASE PER $100 OF ASSESSED  VALUE
County General 0.4789 0.5240  
Public Libraries 0.0130 0.0130  
Highway 0.0327 0.0334  
General Purpose School 0.9121 0.9121  
General Debt Service 0.0690 0.0690  
General Capital Projects 0.0154 0.0100  
Highway Capital Projects 0.0179 0.0172  
Education Debt Service 0.0000 0.0000  
  1.5390 1.5787 0.0397
  CURRENT TAX HIKE 0.0397

 

 

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5-6-2014