Comptroller: TN counties operated $.5B in debt for 2011 fiscal year

Friday, November 30, 2012 at 1:50pm

Tennessee counties have been spending more than they take in, according to a report released this week by the state comptroller’s office.

The report shows Tennessee counties were nearly half a billion dollars in the red for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011. The state’s counties brought in approximately $11.65 billion that fiscal year, according to the report, but spent about $12.14 billion during the period.

“County governments have seen sluggish growth in revenues over the last five years, as expenditures have exceeded revenues in each year over this time period,” the report reads. “The slow growth includes years in which counties received federal money from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This trend indicates that either debt was increasing during the same time period, or fund balances were decreasing, or both.”

The comptroller also reports that “many county governments still are not centralized and do not have financial management staff prepared to handle the complicated financial issues facing county governments.”

The report emphasizes the link between the fiscal health of county governments and that of the state at large.

“As credit rating agencies are increasingly linking the health of county government finances to the financial condition of the state, it is essential for state government to protect its own health by assisting these local governments,” the report state.

The report can be viewed here.

4 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 11/30/12 at 4:59

hmmm, half a billion dollars. Why does that number sound familiar? We can lay claim that we have spent that much on one project here in Davidson without the income to match in the same year.

By: Shadow63 on 12/1/12 at 1:00

Our Mayor and his yes men council are piling on debt with both hands in order to repay the fatcat pals that got them elected, and/or giving them jobs after their term expires. Property taxes are through the roof and still we are expected to contend with less services with higher fees.
Now they are issuing bonds, AKA debt. This is called Kick the Can. Where will the money come from to pay off these bonds?
Get it through your heads voters, the debt level is above our upper lip, and the politicians are kicking the tub.

By: sonny1024 on 12/1/12 at 7:58

Well if Robertson county over spent I would love to know were the money went in fact i would like to know were even a 1.00 went of public money or federal funds but when you ask you get the forever answer YOU HAVE TO ASK SOMEONE ELSE I DON'T WORK IN THAT DEPT.one guy in Springfield went as far as saying IT WASN'T ANYONE'S BUSINESS AND SOMEONE COULD GET INTO TROUBLE FOR ASKING QUESTIONS.so i can always guess were it went.

By: Vuenbelvue on 12/2/12 at 6:31

Isn't there a council vote on last reading December 4th to give HCA $3 million free property tax. Property tax payers will pay their fire service, EMT service, Police, Public works, School tax, storm water drainage repairs each year for 15 years? The two local papers have excluded articles on it so hard to keep up with. Does the taxpayer have a voice anymore?