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After the original budget is approved, the county legislative body may not make transfers between the major funds, such as school, highway, general, and debt service, but it may make budget amendments within funds during the course of the fiscal year. T.C.A. § 5-9-407. Timely revisions must be made because of the ever-changing factors that make up a budget.  Factors that influence decisions are (1) state and federal government programs that are added or terminated; (2) emergencies; and (3) higher cost items than originally estimated. When changes take place, the budget should be amended. These amendments should be made prior to any expenditure of funds, unless there is an emergency that could affect the health or safety of the public or employees.

It is also recommended that budget amendments be presented to the legislative body at least five working days before the prescribed meeting.

Under T.C.A. § 5-9-407(b)(3), the county legislative body has 40 days from the time it receives a proposed budget amendment from the local board of education to either approve or reject the amendment.  This requirement does not apply to Davidson, Hamilton, Knox or Shelby counties. 

Recommended Practice: County commission should allow authority in the appropriation resolution to move funds within a department (except salaries) with department head or county mayor approval.  A standard form is required to be used and filed with the budget committee/county commission.

Recommended Practice: Check your financial management/budgeting law