By Meg Dickens
Johnson County Mayor Mike Taylor and Director of Accounts and Budgets Russell Robinson presented the 2020-2021 county budget during the June 18 commission meeting at the Johnson County Courthouse. Not only was the budget balanced, but also tax rates will stay the same.
“I’m very pleased to say, thanks to the County Mayor and Budget Committee, we’re presenting balanced books tonight,” Robinson explained before diving into more specific details. We’re also presenting budgets with no tax raise.”
The Budget Committee met a few days prior on June 16. Members originally foresaw a 15-cent county property tax increase but managed to keep the rate at its current rate, $2.05. According to officials, the County property tax rates will increase next year if the current rate does not work well.
During the May meeting, Mayor Taylor asked the commission for its permission to apply for a local government grant. This month he reported the county received a grant for nearly $638,000. According to Mayor Taylor, the money is directly related to the census, and each census not completed equals approximately $1,100 of possible funding lost. Taylor plans to use a portion of the grant money and confiscated property sales towards any shortfalls within the budgets.
“There is no fat in our budget,” Commissioner Rick Snyder commented during the discussion.
Although those taxes did not increase, health insurance tax for county employees will rise by 5.4 percent. Even so, there is no reason for employees to panic about this mid-year increase. The county agreed to pick up the costs.
“I can’t speak for anyone else, but my department and I are grateful,” County Clerk Tammie Fenner thanked the county.
There are two elections this year, the general and presidential. A new resolution states that election workers should be paid minimum wage, which would change pay from $115 to $135 but does not apply to Johnson County because it already meets these guidelines. The vote served to make it official.
There are two inspection copies of the budget available for anyone interested to view. One is in Mayor Taylor’s office, and the other is in Robinson’s.
There will be a special meeting at the Johnson County Courthouse on Monday, June 29, at 6 p.m. to finalize the budget and officially ask any related questions. The official vote will be at 7 p.m. For more information about Johnson County, visit johnsoncountytn.gov.