$13.5 mil in revenue projected for FY’23

With General Fund revenues estimated at $13.5 million and expenditures estimated at $9.535 million, Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously adopted its Fiscal Year 2022-23 budget (July 1 to June 30) on first reading during its meeting Thursday, May 12.

“This year-end estimate accounts for a 12.2 percent increase in sales tax revenue from the FY ’22 budget, as well as additional revenue increases in state sales tax, wholesale liquor taxes and building permits and fees,” Town administrator David Smoak said. “The proposed FY 2023 General Fund revenues are $13,520,706, which is a reduction of 2 percent from the estimated FY 2022 (revenues).”

One impact to the budget is the loss of revenues from the Hall Income Tax, which was eliminated and which Smoak said made up 10 percent of the Town’s revenues.

Vice Mayor Louise Povlin pointed out the Sales Tax the Town receives — as well as taxes on wholesale beer, mixed drink and liquor, cable television business license and rent it receives — adds up to $9.7 million – 72 percent of all revenue.

“That’s all business-generated revenue,” she added. “That’s a hefty basket of eggs in one basket, so taking care of our businesses and understanding this is what allows us to live and have the wonderful things that we have is important to understand.”

Meanwhile, proposed FY2023 expenditures are estimated at $9.5 million, which “is a 15 percent increase over the FY 2022 end-of-year estimate,” Smoak said.

The $9.5 million did not include the additional $250 Povlin requested at the meeting.

“An impetus in this year’s budget has been on attracting and retaining top talent for the organization, as the current job market and employment opportunities have seen employee retention strained,” Smoak said. “Also, driving wage growth and expenses have been higher costs due to record inflation rates that were up to 8.5 percent in March 2022, the highest rates the United States has seen in 40 years.

“… The budget is also required to be balanced and remitted to the State of Tennessee Comptroller for review once it has been approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen,” he added.

Fee schedule changes

On another matter regarding funding, the Board also unanimously approved its 2022-23 fee schedule for Town services. Some changes include:

• Community Development: Mobile food vendor fire safety permit fee, $100 per year; fee for signs erected or modified without a permit, $200 for permanent sign, $50 for temporary sign and $100 for tenant panel signs.

• Parks & Recreation: for the McFee small and large pavilion use, the current fee of $85 for half day/$125 for full day will remain but weekend rental fees will increase to $100 half day/$150 full day for Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays; Town Hall Park pavilion, establishing fee of $25 for half day/$40 full-day rental; Anchor Park restroom pavilion rental, establishing fee of $25 half day/$40 full day; athletic field rentals – diamond and rectangular fields – increase from $20 per hour to $25 per hour; athletic field rentals for artificial turf, increase from $40 per hour to $50 per hour; tournament/camp/clinic usage fee, establishing fee for tennis (2), pickleball (4), $200 full day and tennis (4)/pickleball (8), $400 full day.

Prior to the meeting, the Town Beer Board unanimously approved:

• A Class 1 on-premise beer permit for The Shrimp Dock, 11124 Kingston Pike, that was applied for by its new owner, Randy Burleson, owner of Aubrey’s Inc.

• A Class 5 off-premise beer permit for Aldi, 170 Brooklawn St. in the new Biddle Farms Town Center that was applied for by John Larkin with Aldi.