As you prepare your budgets for the coming fiscal year, one issue to keep in mind is that the compensation for county officials, as set out in Tennessee Code Annotated § 8-24-102, is based upon county population class. As a result of the federal census taken on April 1 of this year, several counties in the state will move to a higher class and therefore to higher salary levels for all officials in the county. If you believe this may be the case for your county, this increased expenditure should be accounted for in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Even though the census figures will not be certified for some months, Tennessee law holds that the date upon which the census was taken (April 1, 2000) is the effective date for salary increases resulting from a change in population class. Underwood v. Hickman, 162 Tenn. 689, 39 S.W.2d 1034 (1931). In actual practice this means that after the 2000 census is certified, counties who have moved from one class to a higher class must compensate its officials for the amount of increased salary, retroactive to April 1, 2000.
Our suggestion is that all counties who may move to a higher class should set aside funds for this possibility. One option for census compensation adjustments is to use account number 35250 in the Uniform Chart of Accounts for these designated funds. By preparing in this manner, the funds will be available when they are needed. If you need assistance in calculating the potential budgetary compensation adjustment amount, please don’t hesitate to contact your CTAS regional consultant.