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Bristol, Tennessee council considers budget, tax rate unknown

Bristol, Tennessee council considers budget, tax rate unknown

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Bristol Tennessee City Manager Bill Sorah spent the better part of Tuesday presenting the proposed $119.74 million annual operating plan for the next fiscal year to City Council during a work session.

“For many local governments, the development of the fiscal 2022 budget continues to be a challenging endeavor,” Sorah wrote in his budget message. “On the positive side, the economy seems to be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic with solid jobs expansion, record stock market gains and strong commercial sales growth.”

The proposed $70 million spending budget includes a $28.39 million general fund budget, a $1.88 million solid waste budget and a $2.99 million capital equipment fund.

Funds from Bristol Tennessee City Schools were not available during budget drafting; however, the budget will be updated when information from the district becomes available.

The proposed budget was drafted using property tax revenues derived from the current tax rate of $2.16 per $100 of assessed value because 2022 is a reappraisal year in Sullivan County. During reappraisal, the property assessor’s office evaluates property values so that every property is appraised at a fair market value.

The new tax rate is expected to be available for council consideration in early July.

Council members will hold first reading of the budget during a May 4 meeting. A public hearing and second reading is scheduled June 1.

The budget accounts for a $420,621 drawdown for capital improvement projects, including sidewalks on Bluff City Highway, the East Cedar Street project and the Beaver Creek South Greenway pedestrian trail project.

The first phase of the trail includes a proposed stretch from the Bristol Motor Speedway to Friendship Park on Volunteer Parkway.

Councilwoman Lea Powers said she wonders whether the first phase should instead expand an existing pedestrian trail rather than starting another to be connected in the middle at a later date.

Other details of the project will be presented by a consultant during a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 25.

Other capital improvement projects include routine replacement of public safety equipment, information technology equipment and replacement of the municipal annex roof.

mbasileo@bristolnews.com | 276-285-4016 | Twitter: @MariaBasileo

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