Town budget, FY ’25, passes 1st reading

A proposed Fiscal Year 2025 Town budget passed its first hurdle as Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously to approve the draft budget on first reading, but included a couple of amendments to its Capital Investment Program budget during its meeting Thursday, May 23.

The Board amended the budget by pushing forward funding for proposed tennis courts at McFee Park and a proposed underpass greenway project along Kingston Pike to a future fiscal year.

“I thought we had already removed those from this budget,” Vice Mayor Louise Povlin said, and Aldermen Drew Burnette drew the same conclusion about the proposed underpass walkway.

The budget process starts in January, when the department directors develop a list of priorities for the next fiscal year, according to Town administrator David Smoak.

“These priorities get sent to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for them to reprioritize those things during our annual Strategic Planning process and retreat before we turn in our base budgets in February,” he said.

A series of workshops take place before the final draft is completed. The budget must be approved on final reading before July 1.

“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,” Smoak said.

“The proposed year-end FY 2024 General Fund revenues are estimated at $17,474,546, with expenditures of $10,158,310,” Smoak said. “This year-end estimate accounts for a 6.0 percent increase in sales tax revenue from the FY ’24 budget, as well as additional revenue increases in the state sales tax, wholesale liquor taxes, building permits and interest earnings.

“Local sales tax revenue is estimated to increase 2 percent from the FY ’24 estimated end-of-year projection at $10,101,798,” he added. “This revenue source accounts for 59.3 percent of the Town’s total General Fund revenue.

A second major revenue source “is State Sales Tax,” Smoak said, adding that tax is distributed from the state to local governments and is based on Farragut’s population base, which currently is 23,506 according to the 2020 Census.

He added the total FY ’25 proposed revenue in State Sales Tax is $2,910,000.

On the other side of the coin, Smoak said FY 2024 General Fund expenditures are proposed at $11,033,366, “which is a 7.5 percent increase over the FY 2024 end-of-year estimate.”