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County commissioners vote in $13.9 Mil budget with no increase in property tax

Carroll County commissioners passed a $13,807,712 budget at the Monday night meeting that will be supported by a tax rate of $1.4131 per $100 of assessed property.

The tax rate that is the same as last year will be divided this way: General – $1.0930; Solid Waste – 0805; Highway – .0740; School Transportation – 0755; and General Debt Service – 0901.

County Mayor Joseph Butler pointed out highlights of the 2022-2023 budget.

Estimated revenue for the 2022-2023 budget year is $13,927,841 which leaves an income of $120,129.

The budget provides a 3 percent raise for county employees as well as increased input into health insurance and retirement after recent $2,000/$1,000 bonuses through ARPA.

There will be an unique investment in law enforcement – TCRS Bridge Retirement Program, 4 new dispatcher positions and raises to all the staff. Critical capital maintenance is included in this budget. There is increased staff funding to the Health Department, fully reimbursed by the state. There are building investments for the Health Department (awning approved, ARPA request under consideration), fully funded through ARP A and state reimbursement.

Other investments from the budget include:

• Additional investment in current library employees by raising staff pay.

• Increased funding for prevention services through the Prevention Coalition, fully funded through grants.

• Record investment in Carroll Academy – $700,000 additional beyond contracted $643,000, both fully funded by TN. Dept. of Children’s Services at the direction of Gov. Lee.

• Addressed a critical need at the airport (project was pushed from current fiscal year to this upcoming fiscal year) – a $715,000 infrastructure project, fully reimbursed by federal and state government partners.

• This proposed budget is unique, in that, between these two updates (both 100 percent federal and state funded and/or reimbursed) in Carroll Academy and the airport, you see a $1.4 million increase.

This is some of the ways the budget was funded.

• Hydro-Gear, Granges, ZLINE Kitchen and Bath, Pottery Direct International, VP Racing Fuels ( purchased additional facility), Dynamix Casting F luxes, Cachengo (purchased McKenzie Hospital – added to tax roll) Tosh Farms ($25 million project with new facility in Buena Vista) all with new projects or growing/expanding projects.

• Record property tax collections and growth.

• Record PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) collections.

• Continued aggressive use of grant funding to support projects.

• Revenue created from capping property growth around the lake could exceed $100,000 this fiscal year.

• Revenue created (and disbursed to General Fund moving forward) from debt retirement of Emergency Operations Center note and Courthouse an Jail Renovation Bond could exceed $150,000 this fiscal year.

• A continued “back to normal” post – COVID-19 for our courts, sheriff’s office, and fee and find collecting departments should have a positive impact.

Editor’s Note An abbreviated account of the County Legislative meeting appears because of the newspaper’s deadline. A more complete article on the Legislative Body meeting will appear in the June 29 edition. The budget was the highlight of the meeting.

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