Luttrell’s Balanced Budget Proposal Doesn’t Raise Taxes
(Shelby County, TN) Madeline Ward loves to ride her bike on the Greenline. Today alone she’s riding over 25 miles.
“I love it. I think it’s great,” said Ward.
Ward is thrilled to hear Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has included over $4 Million dollars in the county’s budget to extend the Greenline past Shelby Farms.
“I think Memphis needs to be more active, and I think this is a great way to do it,” said Ward.
Mayor Luttrell has included a couple of other capital projects and did it all without raising property taxes or dipping into county savings.
“We’re hitting all of what I call the key indicators of a solid budget. Balancing the budget with no tax increase and intending to pay our debt down in a very progressive way,” said Luttrell.
About a third of Luttrell`s $1.2 Billion budget covers personnel costs. One way he plans to balance the budget is to not filling vacant jobs and consolidating departments. The County has already cut about 800 jobs since 2008 through attrition.
“We have done a little bit of reorganization as far as moving agencies from one division to another division and taking agencies and merging them,” said Luttrell.
Mayor Luttrell’s budget is now being looked over by commissioners who will have a chance to add and item or change an item proposed by the mayor. They will then discuss the budget and take a vote.
Commission Chairman Sydney Chism likes that Mayor Luttrell included a 1% raise for employees, but he believes raise may not be the right term for it.
“It’s a good step forward, but when you think of it as its entirety that they’re also paying a larger portion of their health and welfare benefits so it’s a wash there,” said Chism.
The budget must be approved by a majority vote among the county commission before it can go into effect July 1,2012.