The City of Tullahoma will, for a short time, continue to operate on the FY18 budget rather than a FY19 budget, according to a vote at the last meeting of the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
In a unanimous vote, the board approved a continuing resolution for the city budget at the recommendation of Finance Director Sue Wilson.
The city’s continuing resolution (CR), like that of its federal counterpart, sustains funding at the current levels and prevents the city from making any adjustments to the budget until a new one is passed.
According to Wilson, all CRs do is “[extend] the current budget terms into the new year so that there are no interruptions in services.”
While the city is operating under the continuing resolution, it is not allowed to enact any cost of living adjustments, staffing changes or new programs or projects, Wilson said. Any of these decisions must be “tabled until that budget is finalized and adopted,” she said.
The need for the resolution comes after a delay in processing the city’s certified property tax rate from the state, according to Wilson.
“Changes in the state’s agreements made it more difficult to reconcile changes than in some of the past years,” Wilson told The News. “Several drafts exchanged hands before the final version was received from the state on June 25, which was then reviewed against database information provided by both Coffee and Franklin counties, and finalized on the 26th.”
Because the information was not finalized until the Tuesday following the June 25 city board meeting, a continuing resolution was needed to tide over funding until a new budget can be passed.
“The continuing resolution was necessary until we were able to obtain the correct certified tax rate and calculate the amount of the tax revenue that it would generate towards the FY19 budget,” Wilson said.
That new tax rate will be accepted by the board at its next meeting on July 9, she said.
This is not the first time the city has had to pass a continuing resolution, Wilson said. During her tenure, she said, the city has previously used continuing resolutions to sustain funding through “revaluation years,” such as the FY11 and FY15 budget years.
In both of those budget years, the city had to wait until August to pass a budget, she said. The FY11 budget passed on Aug. 21, 2010, and the FY15 budget passed on Aug. 25, 2014.
One year, she said, the city wasn’t able to pass a full budget until October, though this year’s situation isn’t nearly as dire, with the new budget expected only two weeks after its original deadline.
Wilson thanked Coffee County Property Assessor Beverly Robertson and her staff for the “amount of work her department put into this process” of helping the city finalize the certified rate for Tullahoma.
“We greatly appreciate her assistance,” Wilson said.
The board of mayor and aldermen is expected to vote on and adopt the FY19 budget next week at its July 9 meeting.
Erin McCullough may be reached at email@example.com.