On the City of Lebanon Budget...
UPDATED JUNE 2012
December 2008 :: What timing!!!! The economy was slowing, revenues were declining, jobs were being lost. The budget I inherited was going to come up over $1 million short and I had only six months to correct the situation.
Problem solved for Budget 2008-2009. We set up an impound account which froze over $1.1 million. That year’s budget resulted in a surplus, though small.
Budget year 2009-2010 required a reduction of almost $2.5 million and the loss of over thirty employee positions to balance the budget. We continued to see a 10% reduction in revenues for this budget year; although we were able to keep this budget in the black.
Budget year 2010-2011 was close to status quo in expenses, but revenue estimates continued to be estimated on the conservative side (low). To balance this budget required the commitment of using close to $2 million from reserves.
Due to the excellent job of department heads and employees, we were able to cut back expenditures. With unprojected increases in revenues, the budget ended the year with a surplus which allowed the city to not have to use any reserves to balance the budget.
Budget year 2011-2012 (our present budget) also required another commitment of over $2 million from reserves to balance this budget. Present projections estimate we may only need to use $1 million of the $2 million to balance.
I feel our economy is now improving, but the recovery will not be fast. Over the last four years our city has had to cut back, which will increase our cost to catch back up. The time is now to lay our plans for recovery and the future. Revenues have dropped but the operational costs have continued to increase the last four years.
With the November referendum for the 1/2¢ sales tax increase, these funds will be able to balance our budget with no need of a property tax or garbage fee for several years.
The funds will enable us to make needed improvements to our infrastructure and provide funds for one time expenditures which will add to our community’s quality of life and help all by helping to support local property values.
How special would our city be with:
1. Newly paved streets
2. Level sidewalks
3. Silent Whistle Zones
4. Park & Trail Expansion
5. Weekly chipping service
6. Drainage programs in place
7. A revitalized Square
8. New fire hall (Hwy. 109 area)
9. Recycling Program
10. Economic Recruiter to spur jobs
What can you add to this list?
The choice before us now is do we keep cutting and wait for a better future to arrive or do we encourage growth and find ways to push projects forward to keep Lebanon special. Issues which address quality of life in our community will help support new jobs and home value.
I say push it. Make it happen now.
Mayor Philip Craighead
1. Sales Tax Analysis
2. Sales Tax Analysis - Graph
LETTER FROM MAYOR CRAIGHEAD
February 22, 2012
With growth comes responsibility.
Over the last decade our city has grown in size and in total population. Associated with this growth is a price tag which reflects the maintenance of our present level of services as well as increased services that are needed due to our continued growth.
For the last three years, I and members of the City Council have been consumed with discussions on how to balance a budget during a challenging economy that reflected large increases in cost for utilities, fuel and health insurance, while revenue receipts remained far below previous highs and unemployment rates soared over 10%.
We debated whether to implement a Stormwater Fee to help address drainage issues, raise property taxes (current level 34.56 cents), and/or initiate a Sanitation Fee to aid in balancing our shortfall along with other possible revenue sources.
Looking at some of our neighboring communities, we recognize that our sources of revenue are not sufficient to cover the cost associated with the improvements and achievements of neighboring communities.
We have balanced each revenue short budget for the last two years by committing General Fund Reserves to balance our needs. This commitment to use close to $4 million, if needed, to cover any shortfalls is not the way to operate government and is for sure not the way to run a business. But times have been extremely hard and people were hurting. We didn't need to place additional hardship on any family.
The economy is beginning to show a turnaround and new jobs are becoming available which will help reduce our unemployment rolls, but our city is still short on revenues needed to meet the needs and expectations of our citizens and businesses.
We can expect this year's budget to reflect a shortfall due to the continued increases associated with utilities, soaring fuel cost, ever increasing health insurance cost, and the need to address issues we have ignored for years; although, we expect to regain some of our previous position in revenue collections.
The 2012-2013 year budget for the City of Lebanon will include not only the bare necessities needed to operate our city but will also reflect expenditures needed to meet the responsibility associated growth and improvement.
I propose to tap the General Fund Reserves one more time knowing that steps are being taken to secure new revenues.
To balance last year's shortfall of just over $2,000,000 it would have required a 25 cent plus increase in property taxes.
Ordinance No. 12-4097 will request a Referendum of the People to be held to increase the local share of sales tax by ½ cent. If the county decides to not participate and if approved by voters in the City of Lebanon, this ½ cent increase is expected to generate over $3.5 million in additional revenue.
In surveying businesses and their business clientele, I found that many of Lebanon's businesses rely heavily on non-resident customers. A large portion of our sales tax revenues is generated by people who are not citizens of Lebanon. They are the traveling public who stop at businesses located at our five interstate exits. I am suggesting that we let others help pay the cost of the services they are utilizing instead of placing that entire burden on our own citizens. One of our largest sources of sales tax dollars is a local shopping venue along I-40. Over seventy-five percent of its customer base is attributed to people who are not residents of our city.
As long as this funding source remains in place there will be no need for a property tax increase or Sanitation Fee for many years.
$ Spent: Sales Tax Raised
New Car or Single Large Item
(Applies only to first $1600 of sales or single article of personal property) $8.00 Maximum
Additional benefits will enable us to address concerns we have been unable to solve due to the lack of funds.
Ten possible uses of monies set aside:
1. Street Paving
2. Sidewalk Repairs & Replacement
3. Drainage Issues
4. Silent Whistle Zones
5. Square Revitalization
6. Return to Weekly Chipper Service
7. New Fire Hall (Highway 109 Area)
8. Park & Trail Expansion
9. Recycling Program
10. Economic Recruiter
I welcome your comments and support on this plan of action. I believe it follows sound reasoning and a correct course of action.
Mayor Philip Craighead
Cumberland Center Project - Click for Tennessean Article
January 24, 2012
We’ll need your continued support so that we can one day grab a piece of the pie. The Cumberland Center Project is still moving forward just not able to have that extra selling edge to attract new retail and dining. We will continue gathering support to meet this goal.
Mayor Philip Craighead
WE ARE DOWN TO THE WIRE !!!!!
On Tuesday (1/17/12) at 6 p.m., the Lebanon City Council will vote on a request to the State Legislature to create an Entertainment District and development of an Events Center in Lebanon. This request has to be in the hands of the State Legislators by January 26th.
The County Commission will also hold a vote on Monday, January 23rd at 7 p.m.
Your presence and support at the January 17th and January 23rd meetings is paramount to the success of this project. Our City and County need this project to spur growth, create much needed jobs, and to improve the quality of life for our citizens. The building of the center is still years away, but it is necessary to put the legal and financial structure of this plan together today. We do not want to be looking back in the future and asking why we didn’t do the necessary planning to achieve our goals.
Please spread the word. Bring your family, friends and coworkers to these very important decision making sessions.
Mayor Philip Craighead
- - - - - - - - - -
- 2012 Lebanon Bill (Revised)
- 2012 Lebanon Bill Explanation
- Lebanon Sports Allocation
- Letters of Support
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next > End >>
Page 1 of 6