Karen Bell, Director of Finance, Audit and Budget, 731-425-8278
Alan Laffoon, The City of Jackson Recorder, 731-425-8248
The Finance Department is located on the first floor of City Hall, in the west end of the building. Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The main number to contact about Accounting issues is 731-425-8243, fax:731-425-9218. The City Recordrs Office is located on the second floor. Contact number is 425-8248.
The Finance Department oversees the security and management of the City's financial and property interests and the collection of most revenues, including property and business taxes. The Department helps the Mayor to prepare, implement and monitor the City's annual capital and operating budgets. The department also plans and executes the issuance of bonds and other financing mechanisms available to municipalities.
In addition to supervising the collection of taxes and other revenue, the Finance Department handles the treasury functions of the City. This includes investment of idle funds that the City may have and payment of all debt service.
Periodically, the City issues bonds to fund long-term capital projects. Recent bond issues have funded major projects such as a new Fire Station and Equipment for the Northwest Annexation area, 32 Police Vehicle Replacements, a major upgrade to the Police Records System, Police In-Car Cameras and Street Paving Funds for the next two fiscal years.
As of June 2011, the general obligation debt of the City was $70.1 million, excluding Sportsplex Capital Outlay Notes, CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency Note Payables and a HL/D Section #108 Loan Guarentee. Current debt levels, on a per capita basis, are about average for Tennessee cities of 20,000 to 50,000 population. The City's annual debt service is approximately $6.8 million and is paid by a combination of property tax, sales tax proceeds from Pringles Park, other special revenues, and debt service fund surpluses.
The City of Jackson has an investment-grade bond rating of A+ from Standard & Poors. Jackson bonds typically receive interest rates assigned to bonds rated AA, and usually sell extremely well upon issuance.
The City has an investment policy that is patterned after the Government Finance Officers Association model policy. An investment committee oversees the policy.
Most investments are extremely short-term due to the tax collection cycle. Short-term investments are normally kept in the Tennessee Local Government Investment Pool, which pays relatively low rates, but provides for overnight availability.
The City also places funds by bid when rates are favorable. Certificates of Deposit with approved banks, Treasury instruments, and short-term notes of government agencies are used when rates are favorable.