Kingsport Times-News: Kingsport city budget up for vote tonight
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Kingsport city budget up for vote tonight

J. H. Osborne • Jun 18, 2019 at 11:08 AM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen is expected to cast its final vote on the Model City’s proposed 2020 budget tonight.

Once approved, the budget will go into effect July 1, with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.

Here are an overview of the budget, some highlights and what it means for the taxpayers of the Model City.

BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

City Manager Jeff Fleming in May proposed his final yearly budget, one that is balanced and doesn’t include a property tax hike. Fleming retires on June 21 after 35 years with the city. At a BMA work session on Monday, Fleming said the state-adjusted city property tax rates are $2.0643 (per $100 of assessed value) for parcels inside the Sullivan County portion of Kingsport and $1.89 (per $100 of assessed value) for parcels in the Hawkins County portion of Kingsport.

The proposed budget includes a 3 percent increase in the water rate for inside city customers and a 3 percent increase in the sewer rate for both inside and outside city customers. Fleming said the 3 percent increase for inside city customers is the result of a long-term rate equity assessment.

By the end of the current fiscal year, Kingsport will have nearly $14 million in its rainy day fund. Four years ago, the amount was $11.6 million.

GENERALLY SPEAKING

The general fund is the main operating fund of the budget and covers everything from city administration to police and fire services to the parks and recreation department. It’s funded mainly by property and sales taxes.

For the 2020 fiscal year, the general fund stands at roughly $172.5 million.

The budget includes $2.44 million in cash for paving projects, $700,000 for One Kingsport projects and no increase in the cost of health insurance for employees.

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