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Public Notices

April 21, 2014

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County Commission To Focus Monday On Financial Matters

Originally published: 2013-10-19 06:09:21
Last modified: 2013-10-19 06:12:07
 


BY KRISTEN BUCKLES

STAFF WRITER

The Greene County Commission will meet Monday to consider several financial resolutions, including budgeting nearly $480,000 more from the State of Tennessee to the Greene County School System.

The commission will meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, in the Criminal Courtroom at the Greene County Courthouse. A caucus meeting will be held at 9 a.m.

The bulk of the additional funding the commission will consider approving for the school system, $448,000, comes from the office of Gov. Bill Haslam as an allotment to each school district across the state.

Such funds are to aid the districts in preparing for the implementation of Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) testing. PARCC is an online achievement test that will replace the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP).

The remaining funding is from the state's Energy Efficient School Initiative Grant, which the school system received for the purpose of beginning the installation of thermostats with remote access in the county schools.

HOTEL/MOTEL TAX

The commission will also consider two resolutions relating to the county's hotel/motel tax.

The first of these resolutions proposes to budget an additional $20,000 contribution in 2013-2014 to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center (NPAC) from the county hotel/motel tax.

In recent years, the annual contribution from the tax to the NPAC has been $10,000.

County Mayor Alan Broyles proposed the increase based on a recent audit that determined that the county will close the 2013-2014 fiscal year on June 30, 2014, with a nearly $40,000 balance in the part of the county tax revenue designated for the local performing arts.

BACKGROUND

The hotel/motel tax is considered "in and out" revenue, meaning that the amount brought in should be the same as the amount that goes out for whatever the tax funds.

In the case of the hotel/motel tax, a private act of the Tennessee General Assembly specifically dictates the use of the tax proceeds.

The tax, which is 7 percent added to the cost of a hotel or motel stay, is split in the following manner:

* 3 percent to be divided equally between economic development and tourism-related uses;

* 2 percent for general debt service;

* 1 percent for capital projects relating to recreation; and

* 1 percent for local support of the performing arts.

Mayor Broyles said at a recent meeting of the Greene County Budget and Finance Committee that the recent audit found that the hotel/motel tax brought in about $371,000 to the county last year.

One-seventh of that designated by law for the performing arts would be $53,000.

Broyles noted that, in prior years, the county had brought in more revenues than were expended for the designated purposes.

As a result, the fund within the overall county budget that includes this part of the county's revenues is expected to close the 2013-2014 fiscal year on June 30, 2014, with a nearly $40,000 fund balance.

But, because this is designed to be "in and out" revenue, and should therefore not be accumulating, he recommended that the commission further spend down this amount by allocating an additional $20,000 to the NPAC.

"That's money that we owe that's not being spent for the performing arts," Broyles said. "We need to keep some funds for the cash flow, but you have to draw the line as to about how much funds you need.

"[The NPAC is] the main center in town for the performing arts," the mayor said.

"They have all -- just about all -- of the shows in town. So it just makes sense that the performing arts center in Greeneville [and] Greene County gets the lion's share."

REIMBURSEMENT FOR TOURNAMENT

The second resolution the commission will consider relating to the hotel/motel tax would reimburse the Greene County Partnership for a $5,000 expenditure on the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Golf National Championship Tournament, which took place in July.

The $5,000 reimbursement would come in three monthly payments from the portion of the hotel/motel tax designated to fund "construction, renovation or maintenance of facilities, recreational pursuits, or the purchase of equipment."

OTHER BUSINESS

Finally, the commission will consider:

* authorizing County Highway Superintendent David Weems to purchase surplus 2004, 2005 and 2006 Mack Road Tractors from the Greeneville-Greene County Transfer Station and Demolition Landfill for a total purchase price of $75,000;

* budgeting $3,000 into the County Property Assessor's Office budget from the sale of a surplus vehicle to the Solid Waste Department; and,

* budgeting $1,500 to the County Election Commission from a state Division of Elections technology grant.

 
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