Commissioners to consider tax increase under rollback rate

Wednesday morning meeting set for 9:30 a..m.

It was back to the budgetary drawing board this week for Shelby County officials.

While the proposed budget previously filed had a total effective tax rate of 0.6554 cents per $100 property valuation, Shelby County Commissioners and officials considered raising the rate to just under the rollback rate.

Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison and officials on Monday in a budget work session discussed needs and wants for the county not addressed in the budget figures perviously released.

Harbison said among the items on the “wants” list would be bleachers for the rodeo arena, funds to contribute to the Shelby County Historical Commission to develop a master plan; provide for improved facilities for Justice of the Peace Pct. 1; and new vehicles for the sheriff's office to replace aging vehicles with high mileage.

Also desired would be a salary increase for county employees, she said.

Shelby County Auditor Clint Porterfield said the budget proposal presented to the commissioners was based on using about the same revenue figure as the last fiscal year with some adjustments for health insurance and increasing utility expenses.

He said the county could increase the tax rate by no more than just less than 4 cents per $100 valuation without topping the rollback rate. Porterfield gave commissioners an idea of about how much additional revenue they can wring out of the budget without going over the rollback rate.

The rollback tax rate is a calculated maximum rate allowed by law without voter approval.

“Based on our new certified value of $1.316 billion, a 1-cent increase in taxes is $131,690” in additional county revenue, Porterfield said. An increase of 3 cents in the county's tax rate would yield an estimated $395,000, he said.

Harbison ended Monday's work session calling on commissioners and officials to come up with budget numbers that could result in a 2 percent salary increase for county employees; allow the purchase of two new trucks for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office; and cut the county's building maintenance fund by about $200,000.

Commissioners are scheduled to discuss the budget and tax rate more at a Wednesday morning meeting on Aug. 22.

The agenda for Wednesday's special meeting calls for commissioners to discuss and possibly approve a 2018 fiscal year tax rate and set dates for public hearings on the rate.

The court is also scheduled to consider taking action on renewing an order for a burn ban in the county and hear from the Shelby County Tax-Assessor-Collector to to discuss and take possible action to end or renew contract with Computer Information Concepts.

Commissioners are also scheduled to pay weekly expenses and approve and pay the current county payroll. Also on the agenda is a discussion and possible action to transfer Contingency Funds to Fund 64-Grants for State Hazard Mitigation Plan reimbursements not received (FY2013).