By CHRIS MENEES
Obion County’s finance committee this morning accepted a budget committee recommendation that will equal a 6-cent increase on the inside combined property tax rate for Union City for the next fiscal year.
Ten days ago, the Obion County Budget Committee voted 4-2 at a 2012-13 budget hearing to recommend the 6-cent increase on the inside combined property tax rate.
This morning, the five-member Obion County Finance Committee unanimously voted to accept the recommendation to set the inside rate at $1.69 and the outside rate at $2.07.
The finance committee meeting lasted just 10 minutes. There was no audience from the community and no one from Union City’s city government was in attendance.
The existing inside rate of 1 cent for the Debt Service Fund for those inside the corporate limits of Union City — versus the current fiscal year outside rate of 45 cents — has generated much discussion among the budget committee and the Obion County Commission in recent months.
The county commission had voted in August 2011 to set the combined property tax rate for the county for the 2011-12 fiscal year at $2.07 outside and $1.63 inside the corporate limits of Union City on each $100 of taxable property — which provided revenue divided in the following way: General Fund, outside rate 44 cents and inside rate 44 cents; Highway Fund, outside rate 7 cents and inside rate 7 cents; School Fund, outside rate $1.11 and inside rate $1.11; and Debt Service Fund, outside rate 45 cents and inside rate 1 cent.
The matter was first approached by county officials at the May sessions of both the county commission and budget committee that Union City should be paying more than just one penny on debt service. While residents inside the corporate limits of Union City do not pay on county school system debts and have their own city school system, they pay on county debt service for other areas such as the port authority and capital outlay notes. The county jail was paid off this year.
The budget committee has voted to restore the 7 cents which was cut from both the inside and outside School Fund rates last year, with both the inside and outside rates changing to $1.18 for the next fiscal year.
Based on the budget committee’s recommen-dations at the July 17 budget hearing, the proposed tax rate for the 2012-13 fiscal year would remain at $2.07 outside and would increase to $1.69 inside on each $100 of taxable property. The revenue would be divided this way: General Fund, outside rate 40 cents and inside rate 40 cents; Highway Fund, outside rate 7 seven cents and inside rate 7 cents; School Fund, outside rate $1.18 and inside rate $1.18; and Debt Service Fund, outside rate 42 cents and inside rate 4 cents.
While the General Fund rate would drop 4 cents for both the inside and outside rates and the School Fund would increase 7 cents for both to restore funding, the additional inside increase for Union City would come from the Debt Service Fund rate changing from 1 cent to 4 cents.
Prior to the finance committee taking action this morning, county commissioner Cloney Taylor expressed concern that no one from Union City was in attendance to ask any questions or give any input.
In asking for a motion, committee chairman Tim Doyle said either way, the inside tax rate has to be at least $1.65 “to put things back in place” in restoring the school funds. He said the budget committee has recommended an additional four pennies.
Finance committee member Lori Seals, who is county trustee, made the motion to accept the recommendation to set the inside rate at $1.69 and the outside rate at $2.07. It was seconded by Taylor, then approved by a 5-0 vote of the committee.
The finance committee is comprised of Mrs. Seals; county commissioners Doyle, Taylor and Polk Glover; and Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire.
It is expected that the county’s budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year will be presented to the Obion County Commission at its August session, set for 6 p.m. Aug. 20 at the courthouse.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 7.27.12