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Proposed budget includes pay raises, debt reduction

HUNTSVILLE, Tenn. — Scott County's proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 will feature a largely unchanged tax rate, a decreased county debt load, an increased county credit rating, and a 3.37 percent pay increase for county employees.

The proposed budget was explained by Seventh District Commissioner Willie Boyatt, chairman of the Scott County Budget Committee, at Monday's monthly work session of the Board of County Commissioners.

The budget, which will be presented to the commission for full approval in the weeks ahead, includes $12,412,658 in projected expenditures and 12,601,779 in projected revenue for the operation of county government — including the County General fund, ambulance, solid waste, public safety and roads.

The total budget is $40,079,144, including the $20.8 million budget for schools, $2.04 million in debt payments and $525,000 in capital projects. The capital projects funds will be set aside for the purchase of school buses for the Scott County School System.

Total county debt currently stands at $35.5 million, down from $40.2 million in 2012. Current projections are for the county's total debt load to drop to $19.8 million by FY 2023-2024.

A look at the current distribution of property taxes in Scott County shows that 42 percent go towards the county general budget, 27 percent go towards the Scott County School System's budget, 12 percent go towards the Oneida Special School System's budget and 15 percent go towards debt payments.

While there will not be a substantial increase in the county's property tax rate in FY 2014-2015, residents inside the Oneida Special School District will see a property tax increase, due to the additional property tax that is levied by order of the Tennessee General Assembly. The school district requested, and received, an increase in that tax levy this year to help maintain current revenue levels.

The county tax rate will be largely unchanged from FY 2013-2014, going from $2.254 to $2.258 per $100 assessed value.

Once it is finalized, the proposed budget will be posted on ScottCounty.com in its entirety.

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