City of Franklin officials on Thursday released a proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, and it includes a somewhat steep decrease compared to the current 2019-2020 Fiscal Year budget.
This, according to the City of Franklin’s website, per City of Franklin Administrator Eric Stuckey.
The 2020-21 (FY21) general fund budget is $70,221,303, which represents a decrease of 10.2 percent compared to the current budget for 2019-20 (FY20). The FY21 budget for all funds is $154,318,230 which represents a decrease of 10.5 percent compared to FY20, the city’s website said.
“For the first time in our lifetimes, we are faced with a global pandemic paired with a significant worldwide economic downturn, the depth and duration of which are unknown,” Stuckey said on the city’s website, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In the face of these uncertain times, the City of Franklin will continue to move forward maintaining service levels, investing in our future, and enhancing our community’s competitive position. We cannot wait for national and state solutions. Instead, we must craft a budget and action plan which is both fiscally prudent and consistent in maintaining our commitment to community service.”
Aspects of the 2020-21 Budget include the following:
• The budget is balanced, with a planned use of reserves to maintain services.
• The budget fully complies with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s debt and fund reserve policies.
• Essential service levels are maintained.
• Despite significant budget reductions, there are no layoffs of existing staff. City team member salaries are frozen at this time with no market or merit increase.
• The City will fully absorb the cost of benefit increases including health insurance premiums, keeping employees “whole” in FY21.
• The City property tax remains unchanged at $0.4176 per $100 of assessed valuation. The Invest Franklin dedicated funding for infrastructure/transportation investment and support of City operations remains in place. The City of Franklin continues to maintain one of the lowest municipal property tax rates in the State of Tennessee.
• This budget will likely be updated later in the year as more information is available regarding the revenue impact of the pandemic and economic downturn.
“The challenges ahead of us will be significant, and the uncertainty we face is real,” Stuckey said.
“However, we have a highly capable City team supported by strong, long-term financial plans and policies that will provide financial capacity to weather these difficult times.”
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