The city of Franklin has released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020-21, one that comes at an unprecedented time and with uncertainties aplenty.
“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,” City Administrator Eric Stuckey said in a press release from the city. “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.”
The 2020-21 (FY21) general fund budget is $70,221,303, which represents a decrease of 10.2% 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% compared to FY20.
Despite unprecedented economic challenges, Franklin’s reserves are at strong levels, debt obligations are relatively low and manageable, and the tax rates are still among the lowest in the state, according to the release.
Since the first of the year, city leadership has taken actions to control costs. This continued strong financial management and strategic investment should position the city of Franklin to succeed and thrive as the regional and national economy emerges from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlights of the 2020-21 budget:
- 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 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 continued. “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.”
To read more about the proposed budget and see it in its entirety, go here www.franklintn.gov/FY2021Budget.
Mayor's State of the City coming Friday
Franklin Mayor Ken Moore will be delivering his 10th State of the City address Friday at 6 p.m.
The entire address will be produced completely using virtual interview tools and edited videos so anyone can watch from the comfort of their own homes.