Luttrell proposes $1.2B balanced budget without tax cut

Luttrell proposes $1.2B balanced budget without tax cut

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell rolled out a $1.2 billion balanced budget proposal Wednesday for County Commissioners to review.

Some commissioners are taking issue with how the mayor wants to manage the county's money.

Despite Luttrell said taxes will not increase under his plan. However, some commissioners want to go a step further and cut Shelby County property taxes.

"We are overtaxing people. I am looking for a tax cut," Commissioner Heidi Shafer said.

Commissioner David Reaves agrees with Shafer in the need for a cut.

"We've seen growth for the past three years, yet we've not given any money back to the taxpayer," Reaves said.

"There are some needs we have to sit down and discuss and weigh our priorities," Luttrell said.

The mayor said he's open to compromise.

"I think it's a good, workable budget. It's a good start," Commissioner Terry Roland said.

Luttrell is not proposing across-the-board pay raises for all employees. However, because of a recent compensation study, he is wanting to spend $4.8 million to adjust some employee salaries.

He is also asking for nearly $2 million to hire 26 new workers. He said he wants $50 million for investment in county infrastructure.

Luttrell's budget proposal does not include extra funding for Regional Medical Center. That is also a concern for some commissioners.

"Regional One is in a facility that is out dated," Commissioner Reginald Milton said.

Hospital leaders confirmed they have talked with Luttrell about a formal modernization plan, but they said they have not discussed specific and certain details.

It's an issue Luttrell said will need to be addressed outside of the budget. He said he also has concerns for Regional Medical Center as well as how Congress will move forward with health care.

"If we don't get any reimbursement for uninsured care, that's going to leave a huge hole in the budget," Luttrell said.

There is a budget retreat this weekend at Shelby Farms where commissioners will take a deeper dive into the mayor's proposal.

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