HomeNewsCounty budget process continues as window closing to ratify by June 30

County budget process continues as window closing to ratify by June 30

As the Madison County Commission’s budget committee is in the final stages of figuring out its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, they seem to have come close to closing the gap between total expected expenses from the various departments and the projected revenue.

“We’ve been discussing each department’s budget with all the department heads for more than a month now,” said committee chairman Carl Alexander. “And on Friday, we were at a difference of about $10 million.

“But thanks to some work from Karen Bell, we’re down to about $5 million.”

The Tuesday budget committee was set to be with Jackson-Madison County Schools Superintendent Marlon King regarding the JMCSS budget, but different communication about the necessity of King’s presence for the meeting on the part of Alexander pushed King’s meeting to Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the committee did discuss other departments’ expenses and any cuts that need to be made.

They also discussed property tax penny allocation.

“Our property tax rate is $1.87.116, which is down from $2.34,” Alexander said. “So that means that each penny of that rate is actually worth more than it was before the property assessment was done last year.

“So when we’re allocating a penny toward something, that means we’re allocating about $319,700 toward whatever that something is.”

The budget for the County’s expenses is based off revenue projections from the finance department coming from property taxes, sales tax and fee payments.

Property tax is based off 25% of the value of a property divided by 100. So a piece of property that is assessed at $400,000. Twenty-five percent of $400,000 is $100,000. Then $100,000 divided by 100 is $1,000. That $1,000 is multiplied by $1.87.116, so the owner of that property would pay $1,871.16 tax on his or her property.

Right now, of the $1.87.116, 52 pennies are earmarked for debt service. Committee member Joey Hale suggested they look at decreasing that number since they’re paying more to debt service than necessary to make up for some of the gap.

Bell, who is on the committee as the finance manager, expressed opposition to decreasing the debt service as the County doesn’t have a lot of financial room to borrow more money. Hale said he’d like to discuss meeting somewhere in the middle.

The main thing holding up the process is the lack of a budget from JMCSS, which they can’t officially do until the school board approves the budget to send to the commission’s budget committee.

They have called a special meeting for Monday at 9:30 a.m. to vote to approve. If that happens, the budget committee has 10 days to look at it. JMCSS has two chances to get the budget approved by the committee. If they don’t approve, the third try goes to the entire County Commission, who has a special meeting called on June 30 to ratify the budget after a first reading on June 20 at its normal monthly meeting.

“TCA Code states all department budgets were supposed to be in by May 1,” Alexander said. “Internally, we want to get the budget to the commissioners so we all have a couple weeks to look over it.

“But if they’re not approving theirs yet, then that puts us in a bind time-wise. We need that budget as soon as we can get it.”


The May 18 edition of The Post quoted Commissioner Mike Taylor as saying in this past month’s Republican caucus meeting that JMCSS has spent nearly half-a-billion dollars of ESSER funding.

That quote was incorrect.

In an e-mail this past week, Taylor explained his comment that the half-a-billion dollars was in reference to all the money JMCSS has spent in the past three years. He said at $125 million a year for three years, $56 million of ESSER funds, $48 million budgeted for Pope School and $50 million budgeted for the construction of new Madison Academic and renovated Jackson Central-Merry, that total is a little more than half-a-billion at $529 million.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Recent Comments