In a special call meeting held Thursday, June 27, the Metropolitan Moore County Council approved the county budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year. It was the third and final reading of the budget, closing the door on a lengthy process that includes a $.10 property tax increase.
After passing by a 10-5 margin the first two times, the third reading passed by an 8-5 vote. Korby Holcomb (1st-Dist.) and Marty Copeland (3rd-Dist.) both voted to approve the budget the first two readings, but both were absent during the third reading.
The rate increase brings the overall property tax in Moore County to $2.43 ($2.47 in urban services areas), up from $2.33 last year. That is per $100 of taxable property based on the most recent appraisal.
The increase is due to a deficit in the Moore County school budget. Director of Schools Chad Moorehead asked the budget committee for a $.20 tax rate increase, but was forced to make do with half that.
During a special school board meeting prior to the June 27 council meeting, Moorehead conceded that the school system would not get the money it needed. During that meeting, he outlined a new school budget, which was approved by the school board.
“I think the school was hit with some (added) expenses and I appreciate that,” said Holcomb during the council’s regular meeting on June 17. “It seems like it goes up and up every year, and I’d like to see that stop.”
On June 27, councilmen Jason Weddington (3rd-Dist.), Coleman March (1st-Dist.), Parks Norman (1st-Dist.), Oscar McGee (4th-Dist.), Gordon Millsaps (3rd-Dist.), Greg Thompson (2nd-Dist.), R.D. McKenzie (5th-Dist.) and Penny Smith (2nd-Dist.) voted in favor of the budget.
Voting against it were Tommy Brown (5th-Dist.), Linda Wolaver (4th-Dist.), Glenn Searcy (2nd-Dist.), Wayne Brandon (5th-Dist.) and David Boyce (4th-Dist.).
It was noted that Moore County is one of the few counties to require three readings of the budget.
In other business, the council voted in favor of an $8,500 donation to the Moore County Senior Citizens Center and a $2,500 appropriation to Centerstone, which services Moore County through facilities in Shelbyville, Fayetteville, Tullahoma and Estill Springs.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on July 15 at the American Legion Building.
—By ROBERT HOLMAN, MCN Editor