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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Trousdale County’s 2019-20 budget should contain no countywide property tax increase when it comes up for a vote before the County Commission next Monday.

That announcement came during Monday’s meeting of the Budget & Finance Committee.

“What we are presenting so far is no raises (for county employees) and no raise on the tax rate,” chairman Jerry Ford told commissioners during the meeting.

The state set the county’s general property tax rate at $2.4388 and the Urban Services rate at $0.8753 after a Certified Value Update was conducted earlier this year.

Courtesy of Trousdale County government

Commissioners voted to recommend all but the Urban Services and school budgets forward to the full Commission. The Urban Services Council was to meet Tuesday evening but was not expected to recommend an increase in that tax rate.

The school system’s budget will be voted on by the School Board at its July 18 meeting and is expected to be the subject of budget hearings on Friday, July 19 at 6 p.m.

Director of Schools Clint Satterfield told The Vidette he estimated the school budget would have a deficit of around $500,000, which would have to be absorbed by the schools’ fund balance.

Satterfield declined to comment further, citing both a need for direction from the School Board and that final numbers from the 2018-19 budget were not yet available.

Ford added that Satterfield, Mayor Stephen Chambers and himself had held extensive talks and had tentatively identified additional revenue within the school budget that could be utilized.

One example he gave was of local option sales tax. According to Ford, last year’s school budget estimated $575,000 in revenue from that tax but the actual figure came in at over $700,000.

“The growth of the county this year made up a lot of what was lost,” Ford told commissioners. “(The schools have) wound up with several more dollars than anticipated.”

The County Commission will hold a vote on first reading of the budget on Monday, July 22 at 7 p.m. If it passes, a called meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 23 for second and third readings of the budget.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.