FY 2022 Approved Budget

The City is pleased to present this summary of the approved annual budget for the fiscal year which begins July 1, 2021 and ends on June 30, 2022. The general fund budget is balanced, with revenues meeting expenditures.
For more information on the FY 2022 Budget, please find the following links:
City of Franklin City Seal
Over the past year, communities across the world have been strained like never before by global pandemic, social upheaval, and economic hardships. Throughout these challenging times, the Franklin community and our City government has focused on responses that have been compassionate, knowledge-based, and resilient. Nonetheless, each person and each community has been forever changed by these extraordinary times. How we emerge is the pivotal question. Will we be stronger and better able to care for and about one another? Or will we be more divided, weaker, and less than we were before? With these questions in mind, our City team has focused on efforts to meet community needs while thinking of ways to strengthen the community. From their efforts a framework for a “Stronger Franklin” has emerged, focusing on four key areas:
  1. pandemic – the response to the pandemic and beyond,
  2. people - caring for people in the community and throughout our City team,
  3. projects - delivering on vital community projects, and 
  4. possibilities - building capacity to make the most of future opportunities.
Despite the challenges of 2020, Franklin has continued to be recognized nationally for our strong community character and quality of life. This past year, Franklin was chosen as one of ten All America Cities by the National Civic League, the first Tennessee city to receive this recognition since 1999. For the third consecutive time, Money magazine ranked Franklin in the top ten of its “Best Places to Live” list. There also continues to be strong investment in the community with nearly $1 billion of permitted development in Franklin over the past two years despite the economic impact of the pandemic.
As we move into a new fiscal year, challenges remain, as do many opportunities. The City of Franklin will continue to be bolstered by our highly capable City team supported by strong long-term financial plans and policies that provide vital financial capacity to weather difficult times. Our best efforts will be required to meet the demands that lie ahead. The City must continue to deliver high-quality services, enhance existing infrastructure, and prepare for growth in terms of services, infrastructure, and community impact. The City of Franklin must craft a budget and action plan that is both fiscally prudent and consistent in maintaining our commitment to community service. 
Budget Overview
The 2021-22 (FY22) General Fund budget is $84,467,632, which represents an increase of 9.8% (including one-time funding from Federal and State government) compared to the $76,961,962 million budget for 2020-21 (FY21).
The FY22 budget for all funds is $166,768,250, which represents an increase of 1.7% compared to FY21.  
Highlights of the 2021-22 Budget
• The budget is balanced. 
• The budget fully complies with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s debt and fund reserve policies.
• Essential service levels are maintained.
• There is no property tax increase in the FY 2022 Budget. As a result of the every-five-year revaluation of property in Williamson County, the City’s property tax rate has been reduced from the current rate of $0.4176 per $100 of assessed valuation to $0.3261 per $100 of assessed valuation. The Invest Franklin initiative dedicated funding for infrastructure/transportation investment and support of City operations dedicated five years ago remains in place. The City of Franklin continues to maintain one of the lowest municipal property tax rates in the State of Tennessee.
• The budget includes seven new positions and seven “restored” positions in the General Fund. The new positions within the General Fund include the establishment of an “Urban Street Tree” crew (four positions), a trail maintenance position, and an Emergency Management position. The seven restored positions are spread across six departments including Streets, Parks, Planning, Engineering, Building & Neighborhood Services and Revenue Management/Customer Service. There is a new position in the Sanitation and Environmental Services Fund due to growth and four new positions in Water Management Fund to assist with the expanded and upgraded Water Reclamation Facility that will open in 2022.
• A general pay increase for City team members will be effective the first pay period of July 2021. The budget includes a general pay increase of 2.5% plus an additional performance-based pay increase of up to an additional 2.5%.
• The budget also includes a one-time pay supplement of $1,000 to all City team members (full-time and permanent part-time employees) funded through a portion of the City of Franklin’s American Rescue Plan allocation. These essential workers have truly gone above and beyond over the past 15 months to serve the community during challenging times. 
• For the second consecutive year, health insurance premiums for City team members will remain unchanged in FY22.
• In FY22, the City will begin to work with an outside fleet management partner to provide “consumer vehicles” (sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks) for City departments. This approach will provide better updated vehicles to our team in a more efficient manner.
• Funding is provided for important investments operating capital ($3.7 million) including equipment replacements, technology enhancements, and facility improvements.
• The FY22 budget includes rate increases in other funds: a $1.50 per month increase for resident trash and recycling collection (from $19/month to $20.50/month), a 5% increase in Stormwater utility rates (an annual impact to residential customers of between $1.64 to $2.63 per year), and planned water and sewer rate increases of approximately 3%.
• The budget incorporates performance measures and sustainability initiatives for every department. The connection to our Strategic Plan, FranklinForward, is clearly linked to performance measures and objectives throughout the budget, including insights from the recently completed citizen survey. 
General Fund Overview
In total, General Fund revenues for FY22 are projected at $84.5 million, an increase of 9.8% over the current FY21 budget of $77 million. This budget includes $4.2 million in one-time revenue coming from the Federal government (the first of two equal payments from the American Rescue Plan at $3.3 million) and the State of Tennessee ($900,000 from the recently approved budget). These one-time state and federal funds will be targeted in the FY22 budget and to include public safety investments such Police cruiser replacements, an Advanced Life Support upgrade for Fire Engine 6, revenue replacements for the Street Aid Fund and the Hotel/Motel Fund, and one-time pay supplements to City team members in recognition of their efforts throughout the pandemic. The following is a summary of revenue by category.
Sales Tax. The City’s largest single revenue source continues to be sales tax. Local sales tax collections are projected to account for 53.4% of total General Fund revenue. The FY22 sales tax budget of $45.1 million represents a projected increase of 17.9%, or $6.9 million, compared to the FY21 budget of $38.3 million. Beginning April 2021, the City of Franklin began to receive the municipal portion (50%) of the additional half-cent local option sales tax approved by Williamson County voters in 2018. The City of Franklin had dedicated its portion of this new portion of local sales tax to public schools for the first three years, which ended on April 1, 2021. This additional sales tax component is projected to generate more than $7 million per year in revenue. Consistent with the original plan, half of this revenue will be dedicated to General Fund operations with the other half dedicated to support the City’s capital investment plan.
Intergovernmental Revenue.  The second-largest category of revenue, intergovernmental revenue (also referred to as state-shared revenue plus grants received in the General Fund), accounts for 22.4% of total General Fund revenue and is projected to be $18.9 million, an increase of 18.5% compared to the FY21 budget of $15.9 million. This increase is reflective of stronger-than-expected state sales tax receipts and the inclusion of one-time grant revenue from the State of Tennessee and the Federal government (American Rescue Plan).
Property Tax. The third-largest revenue source for the City’s General Fund is property tax, which accounts for 9.8% of General Fund resources. The amount of property tax revenue going to General Fund operations for FY22 is $8.2 million, compared to $8.4 million budgeted in FY21. The General Fund portion of property tax revenue is the result of the total property tax of $23.2 million minus $2.5 million due to the City’s Industrial Development Board, less $11.7 million transferred to the Debt Service Fund for general obligation debt service, and a transfer of $800,000 to the Street Aid and Transportation Fund.
The Williamson County Property Assessor has completed the every five year revaluation of property throughout the County. As a result, the City property tax rate has dropped to $0.3261 per $100 of assessed valuation. The City’s property tax rate remains one of the lowest property tax rates among cities across Tennessee and the nation. Click here for a history of property tax rates in the City of Franklin.
Alcohol Taxes. Local governments in Tennessee receive wholesale beer/liquor taxes from distributors and privilege taxes from local businesses that serve liquor by the drink. For the FY22 budget year, these various alcohol taxes are projected to generate $4.7 million, accounting for 5.6% of General Fund revenue. The projected FY22 revenue is an increase of 5.4% compared to the FY21 budget.

Building Permits and Licenses.  While we have yet to see slowing in local construction activity, the proposed budget incorporates an assumption that the pace of development will slow in the coming year. The budget for building permit and license fees revenue is projected at $2.5 million for FY22, a reduction of 10.2% compared to FY21. These fees allow the City to recover the costs associated with providing construction-related services.  Building permit and license revenue accounts for 3% of the General Fund revenue.
Franchise Fees.  The collection of franchise fees from cable and gas utility providers accounts for 3.0% of General Fund revenue. For FY22, $2.5 million is projected in franchise fees, a modest 0.2% increase compared to FY21. 
Other Revenues.  Other revenue categories of note include municipal court fines/fees, and interest income. Court fines/fees are projected to have modest growth at 3.8% in FY22 compared to the prior year. Interest income is projected to remain flat in the FY22 budget. All other revenues in these categories are projected to be relatively stable compared to prior years.     
As described above, the total available resources within the General Fund is $84.5 million for FY22. The following chart displays a summary of expenditure activities within the proposed budget by service area. Public safety functions account for slightly less than half (46.4%) the total General Fund budget.
Employee Earnings and Benefits. The cost of wages and benefits for City team members (employees) accounts for 71.1% of the City’s General Fund budget. Overall, employment-related costs are projected at $60.1 million, a 5.9% increase compared to the current budget of $56.8 million.
Salary Adjustment.  The FY22 budget includes a total $1.7 million for annual pay adjustments.  The annual pay increase for City team members will involve two components again this year:  1) approximately 60% of the pay adjustment will be allocated in an across-the-board 2.5% general pay increase or “market adjustment,” and 2) an additional pay increase ranging from 0.5% to 2.5% will be provided to City team members based on their 2019 and 2020 performance evaluations. As a result, City team members will receive pay increases ranging between 3% and 5% based on their performance. The pay adjustment will be effective the first full pay period in July 2021. A similar pay adjustment approach was implemented in the three fiscal years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Position Vacancies.  Again this year, the budget includes a turnover factor of 3.5% that is applied to budgeted wages and salaries. This method anticipates there will be some employee turnover during the year that will result in budgetary savings. By conservatively estimating this amount, the City can apply budget dollars to other non-personnel components of the budget. The City’s actual vacancy experience over the past several years has been approximately 6%. While conservative compared to recent experience, the 3.5% turnover factor employed in the budget will continue to be monitored closely.
Pension Expense. As of January 1, 2017, the City of Franklin closed its City employee pension program and entered into an agreement with Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) for the ongoing administration of the pension system. While TCRS administers and manages the “closed” City pension program, the City is still responsible for its oversight and for determining the appropriate annual contribution based on the advice of its actuary. City employees hired after December 31, 2016, were enrolled into the TCRS system upon hire and are full participants in the system. The City contribution to TCRS for enrollees is 5.92% of salary. Based on projections, an 5.1% increase in the City’s pension contribution is included in the FY22 budget. Overall, pension expenses for FY22 are projected at approximately 12.2% of total payroll.
Employee Benefits.  For several years, the City has adopted a specific approach to sharing health insurance costs with employees. Using this policy, the City pays 85% of the premium for single coverage and 80% of the premium for employee family coverage for active employees. The City’s premiums for health, vision, and dental insurance are projected to remain flat in FY22. Beginning in FY19, the City began offering team members the option to use a high-deductible health insurance plan paired with a health savings account. Premiums for the high-deductible plan will remain flat in FY22.
Operations.  The operations expenditure category is a broadly defined category that encompasses non-personnel and non-capital activities. It includes utilities, supplies, contractual services, repairs and maintenance, and vehicle fuel. In total, operational expenses account for 24.5% of General Fund expenditures. The FY22 budget amount for operational expenses is $20.6 million, an increase of 24.2% compared to FY21. 
Transfers to Other Funds.  One of the largest increases in the FY22 General Fund operations budget, transfers to other funds is increasing by $2,073,523 or 58.6% over FY21. Transfers fall into three categories. The first are ongoing transfers - $250,000 from the General Fund to the Street Aid and Transportation Fund in FY21. (which funds the “sidewalk gap” projects approved as a part of the Invest Franklin initiative) and $903,034 from the General Fund to the Transit Fund (a decrease of 10% compared to FY21). The second category of transfers include $2,347,000 from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund for approved CIP projects (including the remainder of Phase I of City Hall). The final category of transfers total $2,200,000 of American Rescue Plan monies to multiple funds to compensate for revenue losses suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and investment in sewer infrastructure. There is no budgeted subsidy planned for the Sanitation and Environmental Services Fund. The subsidy to this fund has moved from a $4.5 million General Fund subsidy in FY2008 to no budgeted transfer in the past three fiscal years.
Capital Expenditures. Capital expenditures are defined as the purchase of equipment, vehicles, machinery, and computer hardware/software that has a multiyear useful life and a cost of more than $25,000. This category does not include the Capital Investment Program (CIP), which is the plan for implementation of large-scale public infrastructure and building projects. For the FY22 General Fund budget, capital expenditures are projected at $3.7 million, an increase of 3.3%. The FY22 capital expenditures are for high-priority equipment replacement, including police cruisers (replacements were deferred as a part of FY21 budget reductions), Information Technology security enhancements, and customer call-management/tracking software. To assist in funding these capital equipment replacements, the FY22 budget will utilize $0.015 of the property tax rate previously identified for capital investment funding. This funding represents approximately $821,000.
Outside Agency Funding. The City funds various government, human service, nonprofit, and community service organizations through its budget each year. In total, the FY22 budget funds these organizations at $506,458, an increase of $54,890 compared to the FY21 budget. Funding levels were reduced in FY21 by 10% consistent with reductions absorbed by City departments in the budget. The FY22 budget restores agencies to the FY20 levels, a net increase of $20,750. There were modest increases granted to agencies ($15,640) that had requested additional funding ($37,600 of increases were requested). Two new agencies were added to the recommended funding: Davis House Child Advocacy Center, a local agency that works closely with the Franklin Police Department in addressing the impact of child abuse, and Gilda’s Club, which provides support for local families fighting cancer.
Cash Reserves and Bond Rating. Two key measures of a city’s financial health are its reserves and its bond rating. The City of Franklin has adopted a reserve policy that identifies a minimum 33% General Fund reserve as an important benchmark. The City of Franklin is projected to end the current fiscal year (FY21) with a General Fund reserve of $57. million. With no draw from General Fund reserves planned, this same fund balance is projected for FY22. The reserve level of $57.1 million represents 67.6% of annual revenue and expenditures at the end of FY22.  In 2014, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen identified a policy to permit the use of reserves above 45% for “pay-as-you-go” funding of capital investment projects.  Given this policy and the current projections for General Fund cash reserves, more than $1740 million from reserves could be available for funding capital projects.
Despite the challenges of the past year, the City is maintaining significant reserves to comply with BOMA policy and to protect against future economic downturns. The BOMA-adopted debt policy and fund reserve policy provide a needed framework for maintaining the City’s Triple-A bond rating by both Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s. In recent years, the City’s Triple-A ratings from both rating agencies have been reaffirmed. Bond ratings generally reflect the overall financial strength of the governmental entity, the strength of overall management of the organization, and the health of the local economy. Franklin’s rating from two bond-rating agencies is the highest possible and places it in a select group of cities across the United States.
Other Operating Funds
Street Aid and Transportation Fund.  The City receives the local share of the state gasoline tax to fund the maintenance of local streets. The FY22 budget for this fund is $3.9 million. Included in this budget is approximately $821,873 from the City’s property tax revenue to fund additional neighborhood street resurfacing. The City will also use $50,000 from American Rescue Plan funds to replenish lost revenue in the Street Aid Fund. Funding of $250,000 per year is provided for “sidewalk gap” construction as part of the Invest Franklin program.  Sidewalk projects funded through this initiative are designed to better connect neighborhoods throughout the community. FY22 marks the final year of the five-year commitment made by the Board in the Invest Franklin program.
Sanitation and Environmental Services Fund.  The FY22 budget for the City’s Sanitation and Environmental Services Fund is $11.2 million, an increase of 4.6% compared to FY21. The FY22 budget includes the restoration of one position, the addition of one new position, the replacement of two side loaders, the addition of one side loader (funded by the City Facilities Tax Fund), and a loader for the City’s transfer station. In January 2020, the Sanitation and Environmental Service (SES) team moved residential recycling from blue bags to roll-out containers. Currently, nearly 14,000 customers have opted into the City’s Blue Bin program, a number significantly higher than our goal of 10,000 customers. For the past four fiscal-year budgets (FY19-FY21) there has not been a General Fund subsidy budgeted for the Sanitation Fund.
Road Impact Fund.  Revenue collections within the Road Impact Fund continue to be solid in recent years thanks to strong development activity. Revenue in this fund is projected at $4.6 million for FY22, a reduction of 46.5% compared to FY21 projections. The FY22 budget includes $5.9 million in expenditures. The budget anticipates $2.9 million in expenditures in the form of a transfer to the Debt Service Fund. This transfer pays the principal and interest on arterial road projects the City has undertaken to account for trip generation due to new businesses and residential development. The fund also includes direct contributions to approved projects within the Invest Franklin Capital Investment Program plus payments/offsets associated with existing agreements with developers who have provided right-of-way and/or have built elements of the City’s arterial road network. In 2017, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen expanded the road impact fee to include collector roads. A review and update the City’s Road Impact fee structure is planned for FY22. The cost of this study ($50,000) is included in the FY22 budget.
City Facilities Tax Fund. The Facilities Tax Fund provides for the collection of privilege tax for new development to help pay for new public facilities/equipment attributable to growth. The FY22 budget includes $544,300 for purchase of a new side loader in the Sanitation and Environment Services Department.  This new equipment will support expanded services to new homes built in Franklin in recent years. This is the only expenditure included in the FY22 City Facilities Tax Fund budget, a reduction of 81% compared to FY21. In FY20 and FY21, the Facilities Tax Fund incurred significant costs associated with the construction of Fire Station 7 in Southeast Franklin. Fire Station 7 was occupied in April 2021. It should be noted that the facilities tax rates have not been updated since 2007. 
County Facilities Tax Fund. This fund was created in FY18 to account for facilities taxes collected by Williamson County on behalf of cities. Prior to the creation of the County Facilities Tax Fund, these funds were incorporated in the City’s Capital Projects Fund. The Board has targeted these funds to address infrastructure needs associated with schools and other public facilities. In 2017, funding from the County Facilities Tax was used to support the Enrichment Center ($500,000). In 2018, the County Facilities Fund supported $100,000 to redesign the Long Lane/Goose Creek Interchange (improving access to the Williamson County Ag Center), $300,000 for design and easement acquisition for the Henpeck Lane Sewer Extension (providing sanitary sewer service to Oak View Elementary and Legacy Middle School), and $500,000 within the Hillsboro Road Phase II project (providing enhanced pedestrian access and traffic management to/from Franklin High School). The City’s remaining portion of the construction of the Henpeck sewer extension ($1.285 million) was expended in FY20. The FY21 budget included $125,000 to fund sidewalks in partnership with the Franklin Special School District on the Freedom Middle School and Poplar Grove campus that also connect pedestrian facilities on New Highway 96 West and Del Rio Pike.
Stormwater Fund.  Residents and businesses pay fees to support the City’s efforts to manage stormwater quality and quantity programs and initiatives. The Stormwater Fund budget is $2.8 million for FY22. The FY22 budget includes a 5% increase in Stormwater fees, the first rate increase since the fee was created in 2004. A financial analysis on the fund show that this modest rate increase will sustain this fund through the next five years of operation. In 2017, the City obtained Qualified Local Program status, which allows the City to act on behalf of the State in making regulatory determinations. This capability has enhanced the City’s responsiveness and efficiency in working with development. 
Drug Fund.  The Drug Fund is used to collect drug-related fines and confiscations received through the City’s enforcement efforts. These funds are also used to support drug investigations and related law enforcement initiatives. The FY22 budget includes expenditures of $258,500, funding repairs of the Century Court Firing Range and additional cell phones for Police Officers.
Hotel/Motel Tax Fund.  The City of Franklin levies a 4% local lodging tax on the gross receipts of hotels. Through the Hotel/Motel Fund, the City has historically paid debt service on the Conference Center (this debt is now retired); the purchase of land for park expansions (Harlinsdale, Eastern Flank, and Carter Hill); capital investments to parks; and certain streetscape elements of road improvements that beautify the City and encourage tourism. The City also dedicates one-fourth of the 4% tax to support the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted tourism and hotel occupancy resulting in a substantial decrease in revenue in the City’s Hotel/Motel Fund. Revenue projected in the FY22 Hotel/Motel Tax Fund budget is $3.6 million, an increase of 92.5% compared to FY21 projected revenue. This revenue increase includes the allocation of $1.15 million in American Rescue Plan funds to replace revenue loss experienced in this fund during the pandemic. The FY22 expenditure budget provides for $2.7 million in expenditures for existing debt service, project funding commitments, and support of marketing of Franklin as a tourist destination. These promotional efforts are particularly important as tourists begin to travel again.
Parkland Dedication Fund. Several years ago, the City created a system through which residential development would contribute either park land/facilities or make a financial contribution for the expansion of park land/facilities to ensure park services and amenities can appropriately meet the needs of new neighborhoods. Currently, the Parkland Dedication Fund includes a fund balance of $8.2 million. In recent years, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen has made amendments to the Parkland Dedication Ordinance with goals to create incentives for developers of residential property to incorporate amenities within their developments and to better align the fee-in-lieu-of structure with the true cost of purchasing and developing new parks. Capacity within the Parkland Dedication Fund has been identified to fund priority initiatives within the Invest Franklin Capital Investment Program. Currently, the FY22 Budget does not include activity in this fund. In the FY21 budget, the Parkland Dedication Fund includes $1.51 million as a transfer to the Capital Project Fund to support project funding, a similar amount to the FY21 budget. 
Transit Fund.  The City maintains a special revenue fund to account for the operation of the Franklin Transit System. The system is funded primarily by a General Fund transfer, state and federal grants, and rider fares. The General Fund transfer to the Transit Fund for FY22 is $815,364, a decrease of 9.7% compared to the FY21 budget. In total, the Transit Fund budget is $3.3 million. This growth is due to increases in grants and fares resulting from revamped fixed-route service designed to link residents to employment opportunities and with a pick-up frequency of 30 minutes at all stops along the routes.
Community Development Block Grant Fund. The City segregates funds received through the Federally-funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to specifically benefit low- and moderate-income families and neighborhoods. For FY22, funding is recommended to be $776,000, an increase of $163,000 compared to the FY21 budget. This fund has seen large infusions of one-time COVID-19 aid for non-profit agencies (over $700,000 between FY21 and FY22) within Franklin community. The City is working to allocate these funds to local nonprofits that have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response in terms of providing food, housing, and medical support. The ongoing funding of the CDBG program is projected at $373,000 within the FY22 budget. CDBG funding is subject to federal appropriation and potential budget cuts. If federal budget cuts occur, appropriate reductions will need to be made to the City’s CDBG program.  
Debt Service Fund. In FY10 the City created a separate Debt Service Fund. The fund is used to account for resources set aside to fund debt service and the actual principal and interest payments. The FY22 budget for the Debt Service Fund is $16.1 million, which is an increase of $768,793 million compared to FY21. The increased debt service is driven by the restructuring of debt associated with the construction of the Police Headquarters. The restructuring will pay principle earlier and retire debt sooner, resulting in significant savings. Overall, the debt service obligations of the General Fund are handled by designation of property tax directly to the Debt Service Fund. The FY22 budget includes $11.7 million of property tax for payment of general obligation debt service. The Debt Service Fund also receives transfers from various operating and special revenue funds to cover debt obligations related to those funds. 
Water Management Fund. The City of Franklin operates water treatment, water reclamation (wastewater treatment), and reclaimed water utility systems. The operations of the water management utilities are entirely funded through rate-payer revenue. The FY22 budget consists of $14.3 million for water, $19.8 million for water reclamation, and $590,425 for reclaimed water. In total, the combined FY22 Water Management budget is $34.8 million. The FY22 Water Management budget includes restoration of one unfunded position and the addition of four positions. All four new positions are related to the operations of the City’s expanded and upgraded Water Reclamation Facility, which will come online within the next year.
Since 2009, the City has adopted five-year rate plans based on projected costs of operation.  The FY22 budget includes assumed rate adjustments of 2.9% for water and 3% for wastewater, which would go into effect on January 1, 2022. The City is currently updating its five-year water and sewer rates, which will be presented to the Board this summer. Through the independent cost-of-service study, the City projects the costs necessary to operate the utilities and allocates costs into the rate structure, serving as the foundation of the five-year rate structure.
Despite unprecedented economic challenges, the City of Franklin is in excellent financial condition. Our reserves are at strong levels, our debt obligations are relatively low and manageable, and our tax rates are among the lowest in the state. The City leadership team has taken decisive action over the past 15 months to control costs and live within our means.  Continued strong financial management and strategic investment will position the City of Franklin to succeed and thrive as the regional and national economy emerges from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many throughout the City organization contributed countless hours toward the completion of the budget. Their commitment to public service and to the betterment of the City of Franklin is inspiring. Specifically, I would like to extend my appreciation to Assistant City Administrators Kristine Brock, Vernon Gerth, and Mark Hilty; Budget and Strategic Innovation Manager Michael Walters Young (the leader of our budget process); Human Resources Director Kevin Townsel and Human Resources Manager Natasha Parker; Financial Analyst Angelique Franzoni; Comptroller Mike Lowe; our Leadership Team (department directors and other key staff); and the Administration and Finance department staff teams, whose support and leadership have been instrumental to the budget process.
Finally, I am grateful to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for their guidance, stewardship, and support. Through their leadership and the efforts of our great team, the City of Franklin continues to chart a course for a promising future.

Respectfully submitted,
Eric S. Stuckey
City Administrator