The Knox City Council was faced with a tough decision last night to approve budget reductions made by departments due to the circuit breaker law.
Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained the reductions made to the budget to the council members.
“The circuit breaker credits equal $261,249.27,” said Houston. “That is 16.39 percent of the certified levy. The certified levy is the maximum amount of money that you can collect from property taxes. You’ll see the General Fund was cut 18.36 percent, and each one of them was cut about 18.36 percent other than our two debt funds, and they were cut .06 percent.”
Circuit breaker credits amount to less money coming into the city’s budget from the tax distribution. More money is required to be cut this year than last year.
Houston said that he went to each department head to ask them to reduce their budget by a certain percentage.
Now that the process is complete, a resolution to transfer funds was drafted. Houston said he checked with the Department of Local Government Finance, and the process he’s recommending includes putting money into a circuit breaker line item within a department’s budget.
“We still want to be able to get our maximum levy. We don’t want to do a budget reduction. We just want to move these appropriations down into an unappropriated area or circuit breaker area so that we don’t spend more money than we have coming in.”
Houston said about $261,000 is the circuit breaker, and that means the city council will need to watch all spending.
“It’s cutting it right to the bone. There’s no doubt about it. We’ll have to be very frugal. We have to do what we have to do.”
In addition to tax caps, the reduction of the assessed valuation of property can be attributed to some of the loss of tax money coming into the city.
The council members agreed that they have no other choice but to approve the resolution presented to them by Houston. The council approved the resolution for the transfer of funds with a unanimous vote.