Public safety consumes 45% of PTC’s new budget

Sun, 08/03/2008 - 5:48pm
By: Cal Beverly

Culture and Recreation comes in 2nd at 18.4%; recreation fees pay only 15% of rec programs’ costs

As in many cities, costs for providing police, fire and emergency medical services takes up nearly half of Peachtree City’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009. The new $27.48 million budget is expected to be approved by the City Council this Thursday night.

What might be surprising is what comes in second: “Culture and recreation” at $5 million, about 18.4 percent of the total city budget.

The proposed budget dedicates $12.3 million to the police and fire departments, EMS and communications.

Police and communications — lumped together in the budget — accounts for $6.3 million, or 23 percent of the total budget.

The fire department and EMS together get $5.9 million, or about 21.6 percent. The city’s EMS operates as part of the fire department.

In the budget category of culture and recreation, the city plans to spend $2.86 million on recreation, $936,650 on the Kedron Fieldhouse — an all-weather swimming facility — $1 million on the city library and $191,093 on the Gathering Place Senior Center.

On the revenue side, the city expects to get nearly $1 million from municipal court fines and fees and library fines.

The city is projecting recreation program fees of around $423,000, about 15 percent of what it costs to run the rec program. That doesn’t count Kedron Fieldhouse, which costs slightly under $1 million a year to operate.

The bulk of the city’s income is derived from ad valorem property taxes ($9.1 million), the local option sales tax ($7 million) and an insurance premium tax ($1.78 million).

Total city tax income from all sources — including taxes on alcoholic beverages and mixed drink sales — is projected to be $22.436 million.

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Mike King's picture
Submitted by Mike King on Mon, 08/04/2008 - 12:52pm.

Rule # 1: Expenditures do not exceed revenue. Should any of us try and run our households or businesses where we spend more than we take in, sooner or later the bill is to come due.

Our city planners have stated that there will be no increase in the millage rate, ergo no increase in taxes. What they will not say is that since property values have been increased, the difference will give them the extra "cushion" they need so as not to panic. My response to this would be of the sort: now that my property value has declined some fifteen percent, my tax base should follow suit.

What we have allowed from one mayor to another is a surplus in the city coffers to one of red ink in his successor's. While I am by no means an admirer of our previous mayor, I do give credit for balancing the checkbook. Currently, it seems our present mayor has yet to find a project that he refuses to fund while the comptroller continues his creative balancing act. Whether its paying off a city debt concerning the Tennis Center without holding anyone accountable or contracting for highway grass cutting that was normally done by city employees in a "smoke and mirrors" debate, this city deserves of its elected officials to be totally open in the monies entrusted to them.

Our Board Of Education has asked that we increase our sales tax so that they can offset nearly a million dollars in expenditures while the student population actually decreased. The suggestion on this site that the managerial positions be eliminated that did not see 25 students per day or mid level types has considerable merit and hopefully a schoolboard member took the time to read it. The answer of course is to live within one's means.

Each of us as parents have gone to great lengths to do what we can so that our kids do not fall into the credit trap, because these lessons are hard. Perhaps our city officials need to be reminded of Rule #1: Expenditures do not exceed revenue.

This ain't rocket science!

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Mon, 08/04/2008 - 5:43pm.

You have to give Mayor Logsdon some credit....I barely notice his lips moving when Steve Boone talks! Maybe if Harold studied Econ 101 as much as he obviously does ventriloquism, PTC would be better off than currently.

Submitted by Bonkers on Mon, 08/04/2008 - 1:44pm.

Well Mike, I have written much here about very similar stuff as you mention. You might as well be yelling down a silo! No school administrator or board member will ever respond to a citizen.

A hold on millage does NOT mean your tax will stay constant on your property. Even a cut in millage doesn't mean a tax cut or hold!
I don't know how property values are holding up high due to the current situation---maybe we should ask someone how that happens!
I think if just one house sold in a neighborhood and it brought a good price, the rest, which you can't sell at all, would be valued fully by the one that sold!
I'm not sure either how all these improvements to homes and run-down homes are valued each year. I have seen 75K spent on a house with little tax increase!

The 10 million dollar SPLOST amounts to about another 10-12% (more including interest) addition to our cost each year!

Living within means is an opinion anymore. If you can continue to get credit, sell bonds, add taxes, you are living within your means!

As to the 1.5 million we agreed to pay Peachtree National Bank (has changed names twice since then I think)No one seems to know the status. Does the hotel tax pay it each year?

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