One of the most interesting points in the budget is the city's willingness to use taxpayer money to "Establish a Brand." Just like a vaping high school student who wants to be an influencer, the city wants to use its social media channels (and Parks & Rec department) to engage the audience (that's you all) "to create a beneficial brand for the City."
"While there has long been consistent growth in the retail and residential market segments, a brand will assist in expanding other sectors and enhance what our community offers. Creating a brand requires assessment of the City's competitiveness, ability to proactively attract desired types of businesses, and ensuring the level of job opportunities can be sustained," the city's press release about the budget said.
Looks like they seem to think the city's brand is what is keeping company headquarters from moving here. I guess they want to bee cool like Franklin.
Pro tip: If you want to improve the city's "brand," don't use chemical weapons on protestors and then blame a vague tweet. It makes us all look like a$$holes.
Other interesting high points from the $180.4 million fiscal year 2021 General Fund Budget, which was approved Wednesday, June 10 by theMurfreesboro City Council, is the approximately $8 million cut from last year's budget and projects, as well as the use of $5.47 million from the fund balance (rainy day fund) to account for a drop in revenues related to addressing the coronavirus pandemic.
"While early in 2020, the City had anticipated continued revenue growth and investments in expanded community projects and staff positions to accommodate the City's growth," said Mayor Shane McFarland, "Covid-19's economic impact required reassessment of the FY20 and 21 budgets in response to declining revenues caused by the related mitigation measures."
Prior to the unprecedented economic effect of the pandemic, city council set a goal for the budgeting process that reduced dependence upon use of the General Fund's reserves to balance the budget. Implementation of public health measures necessary to address the pandemic is expected to impact revenue and require $5.47 million from reserves in FY21.
The budget also maintains last year's property tax rate of $1.2894 per $100 of assessed valuation property. The budget has no tax increase, and maintains the property tax rate adopted by Council in 2019.
An estimated 6 percent decrease in revenues from FY20 required reducing planned expenditures for FY21 by $11.7 million for FY21. These include the following:
- $2.9M reduction for equipment
- $2.3M reduction for employee pay raises
- $1.76M reduction of Debt Service used to finance debt
- $1.8M reduction for new Police Officer positions and equipment
Additionally, operationally the budget has been adjusted for:
- A general hiring freeze and deferral of certain budgeted expenditures
- Deferring of anticipated budget increases until more certain on the economic recovery
- Restructuring Community Investment Programs (CIP) to eliminate borrowing for FY20 with most FY21 projects deferred until the economy stabilizes
In accordance with the City Charter, City Manager Craig Tindall submitted to Council on May 14 the City's Proposed $180.4 million Fiscal Year 21 Budget. A Budget Review Session was held May 21st during which the economic assumptions and expectations used to develop the FY21 Budget was presented and discussed.
In FY21, the $90.75 million School's budget requests no additional funding from the City's General Fund. City Schools' operating expenses and debt service equates to approximately 25 percent of projected property tax revenues.
Public Safety remains the highest priority of the City; it is a priority that is maintained in the reduced FY21 budget.