Interlocal Agreement for Sales Tax Increase
City Leaders discussed several topics the community has been interested in lately pertaining to schools. At the Monday, August 28th meeting, Brentwood City Leaders and Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson discussed the option to consider a three year agreement to share the proceeds that would be generated for each city as a result of a proposed one-half percent (0.5%) increase in the county-wide local option sales tax rate, if approved via a county-wide referendum. After a lengthy discussion, city leaders voted to approve the interlocal agreement with a vote of 6-1. Vice-Mayor Mark Gorman was the one dissenting vote.
School Feasibility Study
A second topic discussed was the idea of Brentwood conducting a feasibility study to pursue the idea of costs for forming its own school district. City Leaders voted 6-1 in favor of asking city staff to pursue finding a consultanting firm to conduct a feaslibity study. The estimated cost of this study is about $150,000 . Commissioner Betsy Crossley was the one dissenting vote against this.
School Funding Background Information
Interlocal Agreement for Sales Tax Increase — passed in favor of 6-1
School funding will be on the agenda at the Monday August 28 meeting. In June of 2017, Mayor Anderson formally requested all of the municipalities in Williamson County, with the exception of Fairview, to consider a three year agreement to share the proceeds that would be generated for each city as a result of a proposed one-half percent (0.5%) increase in the county-wide local option sales tax rate, if approved via a county-wide referendum. This increase would raise the local option sales tax rate from 2.25% to 2.75%. The funds shared by the local governments would be used exclusively for payment of rural and general school debt. Note that Fairview’s local option sales tax is already at the maximum 2.75% by virtue of a city-only sales tax referendum a few years ago, so voters in Fairview will not participate in the referendum.
In accordance with state law, any alternative distribution method related to the local option sales tax must be established via an interlocal agreement. The attached agreement between the City of Brentwood and Williamson County includes the following key provisions:
- Provides for an alternative distribution of the sales tax collected from a one-half percent (0.5%) sales tax increase (Section I). There will be no change in the current distribution of the existing 2.25% local option sales tax meaning no funds currently collected by the City will be redistributed to the county.
- The term of the agreement is for three (3) years beginning on the first day of the month that the sales tax increase becomes effective (Section III). At the end of the three year period, all proceeds from the sales tax increase normally due the city per the standard distribution method will revert to the City from that point forward. This redistribution will only apply if a referendum for a proposed increase is called within 15 months of the date of the agreement and is passed by the voters.
- The funds redistributed from the City to the County during this three year period shall be used exclusively for payment of rural and general school debt (Section IV).
Based on actual local option sales tax collections in the recently completed 2017 fiscal year, the amount of additional revenue generated for the City of Brentwood by a one-half percent increase in the local option sales tax rate would be $3.5 million per year or $10.5 million over the three year term of the agreement. The actual amount distributed to the County over the three year period will obviously depend upon the rate of growth or decline in the sales tax base over the term of the agreement.
As of August 28, Franklin, Nolensville, and Spring HIll have approved the interlocal agreement. Thompson Station is scheduled to consider the agreement at its September Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. While the City of Fairview will not receive additional funds if the countywide sales tax rate increase is approved, it has agreed to forego its share of the County Adequate School Facility Tax revenue over a ten year period in an amount equivalent to what the sales tax increase would have generated if it could have been applied.
Video from August 10, 2017 informational meeting where Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson formally requested financial support from Brentwood City Leaders.
Fire Code Amendment — approved
Staff recommends amending the Brentwood Municipal Code to adopt the NFPA 1 Fire Code, 2012 Edition. One of the Fire & Rescue Department’s FY 2017 Non-Routine Work Goals was to review, evaluate, and implement an updated edition of the NFPA 1 Fire Code. Since the inception of the Fire & Rescue Department in 1986, the City has chosen NFPA 1 as its fire prevention code. To incorporate the latest advances in fire and life safety measures, the code has been updated several times, with the last update occurring in January of 2010 when the 2009 edition became effective.
In FY 2017, the Department researched and identified key technical/substantive changes made in the 2012 Edition of NFPA 1 that could impact the City of Brentwood or conflict with the current building code, adopted ordinances, and/or any existing amendments. That process has been completed, and the Fire & Rescue Department is recommending adoption of the NFPA 1 Fire Code 2012 Edition, as amended. This code only applies to new commercial and service institutional construction and significant alterations to existing commercial and service institutional buildings. Requirements for new single family residential construction are addressed in the International Residential Code (IRC) adopted by the City. Updating to the 2012 Edition will keep the City on par with the State of Tennessee which is also using the 2012 edition, and provide consistency at both the state and local level.
Land Donation for Future Fire Station — passed on first reading
Ordinance 2017-17, if approved, provides for the formal acceptance of approximately 3.13 acres of land that is presently included as part of the permanent open space for the Tuscany Hills Subdivision. The property is located at the intersection of Split Log and Ragsdale Roads. Acquisition of the tract will provide a site for the future construction of a new fire station which will serve the southeastern portion of the City.
The 3.13 acres would be conveyed to the City at no cost. Dedications of this nature to public agencies are credited as open space, based on 100 percent of the area of the dedication, under Section 78-187 of the Zoning Ordinance – Open Space Credit for Community Wide Benefits.