Town officials propose budget

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Town officials discussed Collierville’s upcoming budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year Monday night during a public hearing.

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“There were 11 decreases in operating budgets,” said Town Administrator James Lewellen. “Every operating department cut budgets this year to some extent.” 

The general fund summary indicates the proposed beginning fund balance for the upcoming year to be $73.7 million.

The overall expenditure budget increase is $316,452 and includes the salaries of to two new firemen. 

Lewellen offered a demographic breakdown of the town before presenting the budget. 

The town now encompasses 30 square miles.

Germantown and Bartlett have jurisdiction of 20 and 26.5 square miles, respectively. The estimated population is 52,789 and the total number of households is 18,955. 

Lewellen said that total revenue is expected to be down $1.9 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year. However, property tax numbers will likely be up

.”Local option sales tax,” he said, “that’s a big number. Because of current economic conditions, we’re projecting a 10-percent reduction in local option sales tax. Revenue could be down $1.2 million.” 

Collierville’s municipal property tax rate will likely go unchanged heading into the 2020-21 fiscal year. 

Town staff has recommended that the current rate of $1.83 per $100 of assessed valuation be maintained through the next 12 months. 

Finance Director Mark Krock said the rate is “adequate to support the budget being proposed.” 

The town did not increase the rate for the 2019-20 fiscal year “despite weak revenue growth and the rising costs of goods and services.” 

However, the Board approved a 20-cent property tax increase in 2018, representing the second largest tax increase in the town in more than 20 years. 

Town officials also listened to Superintendent Gary Lilly present the proposed Collierville Schools budget.

Among the “budget challenges” for the 2020-21 fiscal year is a $1.7 million reduction in federal Title 1 funding. 

Lilly said the district’s projected general fund balance for the upcoming year is $92.8 million. 

Future capital improvement projects include new lighting at Tara Oaks Elementary, as well as a new HVAC unit, gym renovations at Collierville Elementary and a recently approved a roof replacement at Sycamore Elementary.

Lilly said he does not anticipate any increases in enrollment for the next semester. 

“Because of space limitations we are pretty much closed to tuition (open enrollment) and transfers,” he said, noting that enrollment is currently at 9,091. 

Residents living in Tennessee outside of Shelby County are required to pay a tuition fee of $4,000 per school year.

Residents outside of Collierville, but within Shelby County, are required to pay a tuition fee of $400 per student per year, not to exceed $1,000 per family.