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No tax increase for Johnson County

By Katie Lamb
Freelance Writer

“The 2019 – 2020 budget passed without problems,” declares Russell Robinson, Director of Accounts and Budgets for Johnson County, after the August 5, 2019 county budget meeting conducted by the County Commission. “Also, there will be no tax increase what so ever.”
Robinson stated, “The Budget Committee focuses on four separate budgets: One, the general county budget, two, the general-purpose school budget, three, the debt service budget, and four, the general capital budget. “While the first two categories receive the bulk of all property tax, the general capital funds are allocated for patrol cars, capital improvements, and school buses.”
“The county will add some additional personnel to law enforcement for a little over $70,000,” Robinson said. “Existing manpower will be supplemented with two new road deputies. A part-time position within the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will become a full-time position and cost roughly $15,000.
Officials also added that by state mandate, elected county officials would receive a two and a half percent pay increase for a cost of
$20,000.
For the first time in several years, there will be a three percent ‘Cost of living’ increase for all county employees for a sum of $80,000. There will be an increase of $6,700 for legal resources to cover services beyond the parameter of attorney retainer funds, as well as, $10,000 to be designated to support
the Johnson County 911 system.
“With the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary, $30,000 will be allocated to finance the election,” Robinson said. “It costs the county $30,000 every Presidential election cycle with partial reimbursement. Based on a state-mandated salary schedule, teachers will maintain wages and performance increases based on test scores. “It is a $70,000 per year expenditure to meet the state requirement for a differentiated step increase for teaching personnel,” he said.
Robinson affirmed that the county would not see an increase in medical insurance until 2020. “Several years ago, the state enacted the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS), and because of this, the county experienced a substantial decrease in rates for employees with an absorbed savings of $142,000.
“No county tax increase is a direct result of the TCRS,” he said.
Weighing in on the upcoming fiscal year Johnson County Commissioner Mike Taylor said, “I am excited about the upcoming year and look forward to additional growth for the county. The economy is good and unemployment is low. The budget committee has worked hard and we were able to set aside enough money to put a new roof on the courthouse and give all employees a raise.”
For more information about Johnson County, please visit www.johnsoncountytn.gov.