Catoosa County Proposes Balanced Budget With No Tax Rate Increase That Addresses Citizen’s Concerns

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Catoosa County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposed balanced budget for fiscal year 2021 that addresses citizen concerns for enhancements to public safety services and infrastructure while adopting the property tax rollback rate.

The proposed General Fund budget is $34,200,174 and includes a $3 million transfer to a new Capital Projects Fund. Prior to the transfer, the proposed budget reflects an increase of $2.6 million that is supported by growth in revenue collections. 

“Building on a foundation of fiscal strength, Catoosa County is well prepared to address our citizen’s most requested needs for safety and quality of life enhancements,” said Catoosa County Chairman Steven M. Henry. “I am proud of the hard work that our county employees do to deliver high quality services while being good stewards of our tax dollars.” 

To address increased calls for emergency services in the Keith community, the 2021 budget proposes adding full time career firefighters to each shift at Station 4, which is currently staffed with volunteers and two full-time firefighters.  This enhancement is expected to reduce response times in the northeastern section of Catoosa County, potentially saving lives and property. 

Budgeted technology enhancements for first responders include updated equipment and software for the Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office and 911/Emergency Management to further enhance response times. 

The proposed Capital Projects Fund, created with a $3-million transfer from the budget’s fund balance, will fast-track citizen-requested infrastructure improvements such as road maintenance and stormwater management.  

The Public Works Department is requesting three additional positions specifically for stormwater management and road maintenance, and an additional position for vehicle and equipment maintenance.

The 2021 budget includes funding for the cleanup of dilapidated properties, which will enhance neighborhood safety and property value.

Technology improvements are budgeted to enhance transparency and public engagement, including audio-visual equipment for the Board of Commissioners room and support for Catoosa County’s online and public information resources.

“We take great care in the way we allocate our citizen’s resources to address their concerns and our future needs,” said Catoosa County Manager Alicia Vaughn. “Our conservative approach to funding, without a tax rate increase, helps us to maximize the value of the services we deliver.”

The proposed fiscal year 2021 budget is available for public review online at www.catoosa.com/budget, and a public hearing is scheduled for Monday at 5:30 p.m. The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the budget during their Aug. 18 meeting. 



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