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Baxter Passes Budgets, No Tax Increase

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Baxter Passes Budgets, No Tax Increase

Baxter passed its budget on second reading Wednesday night.

Baxter Mayor John Martin said employees are the highest priority in this year’s budget. He said all city employees would receive a raise of at least $1 per hour, with others receiving larger special increases. He said conservative spending will allow the city to avoid a property tax increase as well.

“I was elected eight years ago and we’ve not had a property increase for any of the years,” Martin said. “We’re not having one this year and, hopefully, we don’t have any in the future. We’re trying out best to manage our moneys and, hopefully, live within our means.”

Martin said the increased property and sales tax the city has collected as it has grown allows the financial freedom to provide these employee raises. He said that to stay competitive with surrounding towns, pay increases and benefit package additions are a must.

“The benefit package we have here in Baxter is phenomenal,” Martin said. “You know, as far as the money we put into retirement. Their insurance is great. We just did dental and vision for our employees.”

He said the city does not have any major capital projects factored into the general fund budget or the water and sewer budget. He said due to diligently attacking grant opportunities, the city has been able to get equipment and projects paid for through outside funds.

“We work very hard to get grants,” Martin said. “We’ve been very fortunate in the past eight years. It’s unbelievable the millions of dollars we’ve acquired through grants, from buying garbage trucks, grapple trucks, mowers, everything we’ve got, but we’ve been very fortunate in that aspect.”

He said if a big project comes up throughout this fiscal year, it can still be amended into the budget. The aldermen also passed the water and sewer Department budget.


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