By Gary Nelson
For the first time in several months, Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock reported local option sales tax collections were above budget projections. The sales tax collections were up for the month of November by $18,053.
"It's good news for the month of November. We're still down for budgeted amounts for the fiscal year by $12,907, but this is a step in the right direction," Brock said to the committee.
Brock said actual collections were $675,832, which was over the budgeted amount of $657,779 for November. Actual collections are higher than last year, but not quite reaching the budgeted amount for this fiscal year.
Actual local option sales tax collections for this fiscal year are $2,745,362 of a budgeted amount of $7,898,741.
"It's still very early in the year, so this could be made up over the next several months," Brock said.
He reported the Cumberland County Trustee's office reportedly has collected 24.8 percent of the property tax for this fiscal year, which is up by comparison collections this time last year, which were 22.9 percent.
Hotel/motel tax collection figures are down slightly with only 41 percent ($302,820 of the budgeted amount of $738,000) being collected.
"It is down slightly from last year's collections at this time, which were $317,145," Brock said.
Ambulance service EMS collections were reported to be $560,855, or 21 percent of a budgeted amount of $2,671,000, Brock reported.
He said that prisoner boarding collections from the state were listed at $337,662, or 32.3 percent of a budgeted amount of $1,046,856.
"The October collection figures are not listed in that report because we have not received them yet," Brock said.
Harry Sabine, 1st District commissioner and budget committee chairman said, "Why have we not received those?"
"I'm not sure as to why. The sheriff's department submits it to the state and we report what has been received," Brock said.
Sabine said he would like to know why the October collections had not been received yet.
In other areas, the committee approved the following budget amendments:
• A $400 amendment for the Art Circle Public Library to accept a donation.
• A $4,674 amendment for the Art Circle Public Library to accept a $2,000 grant from the state of Tennessee for new computers for the library and $2,647 for the required matching amount from the county, which is being furnished by the Art Circle Public Library Foundation for a total of $4,647.
• A $100 amendment for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Department in order to receive a private donation for the benefit of the department.