Bartlett OKs $153.6M budget, 38-cent property tax increase

Bartlett-city-seal-300pxBartlett took the first step toward passing its FY2018 budget on May 9 when the mayor and city board held a work session and then passed the first reading of the budget at their business meeting later that night.

Based on preliminary estimates from Shelby County’s reappraisals, the city expects to have a certified tax rate for 2017 taxes of $1.50. The FY18 budget requires a 35-cent tax rate increase, so the proposed property tax rate will be $1.85.

The Shelby County Tax Assessor’s 2017 figures indicate a 13.6 percent increase in actual assessments over 2016 because of the reappraisal of all property within Bartlett. (New growth in property assessments is less than 2 percent over 2016.)

The proposed budget, including the Bartlett School Fund, is $153,624,298. The budget includes $73.5 million for the city school district.

Highlights of the budget include:

  • The hiring of six new police officers, six new paramedics and additional grass crew in Parks
  • Capital improvement projects totaling $11,061,907. Major projects and acquisitions include City Hall renovations, police/fire/public works vehicles and equipment, city-wide paving of $2 million, Freeman Park renovations, and recreation maintenance projects. Additionally, $3 million is requested for design and construction of Old Brownsville Road West. Water and sewer projects include Old Brownsville water line and sewers relocation on Old Brownsville Road. Funding includes $5.3 million in general obligation bonds, $1.97 million in capital notes, $2.48 million in Tennessee Department of Transportation matching funds, $500,000 in grant funds for Freeman Park, reserves in the water fund and other small transfers.
  • A general 2 percent salary increase for the city’s full-time employees
  • The career ladder pay increase for affected employees
  • $200,000 in subdivision paving to be covered by developer paving fees
  • An estimated 3 percent increase in local sales tax over FY2017
  • Half-cent sales tax budgeted to reimburse costs for school ground maintenance, school resource officers, crossing guards, health and safety officer and DARE Program. additional budgeted items from this tax for city support of the school system include the maintenance of effort requirement of $1,737,826 and Shelby County Board of Education buildings. There also will be $2,505,000 in operating transfers to the Debt Service Fund for the purpose of school debt related to the proposed Bartlett High School renovations and related debt.

Budget amendments are expected to include a $1 million allocation from the General Purpose School Fund reserves to retire the proposed school bond indebtedness resulting from the BHS renovations.

The Bartlett High renovation proposal will require a separate bond issue of approximately $44 million.

The final reading and public hearings for the new fiscal year’s budget (set to go into effect July 1) will be on June 14.

CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to