3 hearings set before PTC vote on tax hike

Tue, 08/11/2009 - 4:07pm
By: John Munford

Peachtree City residents will have three public hearings at which they can make comments about the proposed .244 mill property tax increase under consideration by the Peachtree City Council.

The increase would cost an additional $24.40 on the property tax bill of a home valued at $250,000.

Three public hearings are required by law anytime a millage rate will result in more property tax dollars being collected for a coming year’s budget when compared to the previous year’s budget.

The first hearing will be Thursday, Aug. 20 at 7:30 a.m. The second hearing will occur at 7 p.m. the same night during the regular council meeting. The third and final hearing, at which council is slated to formally adopt the property tax increase, is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Mayor Harold Logsdon has said he would rather use the city’s cash reserves to avoid a property tax increase given the poor state of the economy. He has reminded his fellow council members and city staff that an unfunded tax credit from the state legislature will result in an extra $280 increase on this year’s property tax bill for those with homes valued at $250,000.

Balancing the budget with cash reserves would cost the city $450,000 and reduce the city’s cash reserves from 35 percent of its annual budget to approximately 33 percent, City Finance Director Paul Salvatore has said.

The staff-recommended budget is for $26.3 million, nearly $300,000 less than the projected final spending amount for the current budget year.

The budget includes just two additional full-time positions: a police detective to handle fraud-related crimes and another police officer, which will be funded for the last six months of the budget cycle.

The budget does not include any cost of living or merit raises for city employees. The cost of living raises would cost $286,000 and the merit increases would cost an estimated $489,000.

Also the budget does not include the previously-approved raises for mayor and City Council members that were to take effect in January.

As a budget-saving measure, the police department has reduced its new patrol car request from eight to six. To replace the other two patrol cars, the city will enter a two-year lease on two motorcycles to be used for patrol, Clark said.

Among other budget cuts is a significant change at the city’s Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater. The summer concert series is being cut from two nights per artist to one, and the venue’s two employees will work 25 percent of their time on various tasks for the city, as 25 percent of their salary will come from the city’s general fund instead of the amphitheater budget.

The city has also pared $100,000 in costs from the Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center while implementing an estimated $200,000 in additional revenue for the facility, reducing the budget burden by $300,000 total, officials said.

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Submitted by Thunderchief on Thu, 08/13/2009 - 12:05pm.

Go ahead, raise the taxes more till you drive everyone from the county!

Have you people heard of this little problem called unemployment?
Do you "get it" that one in ten are out of work? Sure, Jimmy cracked corn, who cares, fork over some more money that you don't have.

I might as well be talking to a tree in the woods. Silly me actually thinking that you would "get it".

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