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Little change requested in three of Carter County's budgets

John Thompson • May 1, 2017 at 10:14 PM

ELIZABETHTON — There was little pressure felt for raising property taxes Monday night, as the Budget Committee of the Carter County Commission went over three of the major budgets.

After holding several meetings in April on the county’s General Fund budget, the committee quickly went through the three remaining parts of the county’s complete budget Monday night. The three budgets are the School Department budget, the Highway Department budget and the Debt Service budget. 

Director of Schools Kevin Ward is asking the County Commission to provide a 1 percent increase in salary for the school system’s non-teaching personnel, which he said were the lowest-paid employees in the system. 

Ward said a recent salary survey included recommendations to increase compensation for these workers by a total of $450,000. Ward said that amount was too much of an increase for one year, but he proposed to increase salaries by 1 percent a year over four years.

The 1 percent increase would cost $60,000.

Ward also requested funding for one more school resource officer, bringing the county’s total to 15 SROs for 15 schools. That funding may come from a federal grant the Carter County Sheriff’s Department is requesting from a Department of Justice program.

The school department’s total revenue from property tax next year would be $5,778,825.

The only increase for the Highway Department was $32,164.73 for increased medical insurance costs for the department’s employees. The department’s total revenue from property taxes remains the same as last year, $1,022,489.

There are no new expenditures in debt service. The amount of property tax revenue will remain the same as this year, which is $1,940,015. Most of that revenue goes to pay the bonds on the Carter County Jail, which will cost $1,621,931.26 in principal and interest payments next year.

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