Rutledge has strong year
Council member questions need for property taxes
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Discussions of money and budgeting were front and center during Rutledge's regular monthly meeting and called budget work session Monday night.
The city has just under $300,000 in its general fund and approximately $182,000 in its water and sewer fund as the fiscal year winds down.
The city will contract with Certified Public Accountant Robert McAlister to conduct an audit of the city's finances for fiscal year 2008; the audit will begin in August and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. “They do really good work,” said Mayor Pro Tem Brenda Thompson.
The council spent time discussing items that they would like to see as a focus in next year's budget, such as storm drains, improved sidewalks and the possibility of enhancing the parking area adjacent to City Hall.
Council member Tommy Strott advocated a continued investment in infrastructure for the city.
“I think we had some good money budgeted for capital improvements this year,” said Strott. “I think if we continue to budget similar amounts in coming years, we'll be able to improve and maintain our infrastructure.” Noting that the city is currently under budget for some FY08 expenditures, Strott had a question. “Do we have to charge property tax?” he asked, pointing out that the city's income from property tax is a relatively small percentage of the budget. “We could eliminate property tax and still be in the black...I'm saying it a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but not totally,” said Strott.