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City of Franklin’s proposed budget for 2023-24 shows encouraging numbers

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April FrankTalks

Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey

The city of Franklin has recently released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2023-24, as announced by City Administrator Eric Stuckey.

“Each year, the budget process provides the opportunity to consider where we are as a community and the opportunities that lie ahead,” Stuckey said in a news release from the city. “Franklin remains one of the most desirable places to live in America. Publications such as Money, Southern Living, USA Today and Livability consistently recognize Franklin among the best places to live in America. 

“Investment and job growth also reflect Franklin’s remarkable economic vitality and competitive position. During calendar year 2022, private investment reached the highest level in Franklin’s history with $874 million in direct construction investment.” 

Beyond these statistics and ratings, the city of Franklin team values the opinions and perceptions of residents. In late 2022, the city surveyed a wide range of Franklin citizens through a national survey used by more than 600 communities across the United States. 

The city used this same survey instrument in 2016 and 2019. Its goal in conducting the survey was to ask Franklin citizens the simple but important question: “How are we doing?” The results were encouraging, according to the release, with 97% of survey respondents rating Franklin’s quality of life as excellent or good (ranking seventh nationally; first among cities of a similar size), and 96% rated Franklin as an excellent or good place to raise children (ranking seventh nationally; first among cities of similar size).

Significant infrastructure work continues through the city’s Invest Franklin initiative that supports its10-year, $380 million Capital Investment Plan. Recent highlights include the completion of the Highway 96 West multi-use trail, the opening of renovated ballfields in partnership with the Franklin Special School District, and completion of an award-winning bridge to connect the community to the site of the future park in southeast Franklin. Coming later this year will be the completion of the city’s expanded and upgraded water reclamation facility and the opening of the Franklin Road improvements.

The 2023-24 (FY23) general fund budget is $102,534,136, which represents an increase of 3.4% compared to the current budget for 2022-23 (FY23). The FY24 budget for all funds is $218,138,422, which represents an increase of .05% compared to FY23.

Highlights of the 2023-24 Budget 

  • The budget is balanced.
  • The budget fully complies with the city’s debt and fund reserve policies. 
  • Essential service levels are maintained.
  • The city property tax rate remains unchanged at $0.3261 per $100 of assessed valuation. The Invest Franklin dedicated funding for infrastructure/transportation investment and support of city operations remains in place. The city of Franklin has the lowest property tax rate of any city in Tennessee with a population over 50,000, and its rate is among the lowest of comparable cities nationally.  
  • A pay increase for city team members will be effective the first pay period of July 2023.The approved budget includes a general pay increase of 3% plus an additional performance-based pay increase of up to 2.5%.
  • The budget includes three new positions in the General Fund. The new positions are three new firefighters, one per shift. Several position reclassifications are included in the areas of Communications, Engineering, Streets, Police, and Fire. There is one additional position in the city’s Water Management utility, although the total number of funded positions remains the same. 
  • Health insurance premiums for City team members are projected to remain unchanged for FY24. 
  • The FY24 budget includes a $1 per month increase for residential trash and recycling collection (from $22/month to $23/month). Consistent with our five-year utility rate plan, water rate increases of 3% for both calendar year 2024 and 2025 are expected. Sewer rates are expected to increase 2.5% in 2024 and 2% in 2025. 
  • The budget incorporates performance measures and sustainability initiatives for every department. The connection to the city’s Strategic Plan, FranklinForward, is clearly linked to performance measures and objectives throughout the budget.

 Despite the challenges and uncertainty facing communities across the country, the city of Franklin is in excellent financial condition, according to the release. Its reserves are at strong levels, debt obligations are relatively low and manageable, and tax rates are among the lowest in America. 

“The city must continue to deliver high-quality services, enhance existing infrastructure, and prepare for growth in terms of services, infrastructure and community impact,” Stuckey said. “The city of Franklin has crafted a budget and action plan that is both fiscally prudent and consistent in maintaining our commitment to high-quality community service.”

Read more about the proposed budget and see it in its entirety.

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