Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis is recommending keeping the property tax rate at $1.87 per $100 of assessed valuation, while giving full time employees two percent salary increases.
The county mayor, on Monday night, called it "a very difficult budget" - especially coming up with $2.5 million pledged by the Bradley County Commission toward the new Lake Forest Middle School. He said it may take three years to come up with the amount, including $1.1 million from the upcoming budget.
County Mayor Davis said some cuts had to be made in order to meet the budget, including at the fire department, where the fund balance was being raised to 12 percent of spending. It was at 7.7 percent during the current fiscal year.
He said the budget was achieved despite a projected eight percent drop in court costs and fees.
The county mayor said the projections include a three percent growth in the property tax and a 2.4 percent increase in patient fees.
He said the county fund balance would be $7,535,000 or 14.9 percent of county spending. That is just under his 15 percent goal.
Debt service includes $3 million for industrial park bonds - to be covered by hotel/motel tax receipts - and $2 million in bonds for the new county workhouse. Revenue from operations are projected to cover costs.
He said, "This year we pay the balance of our commitments for the APD 40 interchange, the connector road, and the purchase of the industrial park property.
"Most of our Veterans Home commitment is in this fund this year."
The County Commission's finance committee is set to go over the budget on Thursday.
The commission is expected to act on the budget on July 5.
In other action, the commission decided to reverse course and not set aside county property off Westland Drive for a tower for the Emergency Management Agency.
Commissioner Johnny Mull said a developer had planned to put in 6-7 home lots at the land-locked site and put the land back on the tax rolls. He said the EMA could get along without the site.
County Mayor Davis agreed, saying the current EMA tower on Johnson Road may be improved.
Commissioner Charlotte Peak-Jones said had she been the developer, who had earlier had the winning bid on the property, then had the sale set aside, "I would have sued the county's pants off."