PTC Council may ‘roll up’ tax rate Thurs.; 2% staff salary hike?
The Peachtree City Council is expected to approve a $28.9 million budget Thursday night that includes a “roll up” millage rate to counteract the 5.13 percent decline in property values city-wide.
Council will hold a special called meeting at 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at City Hall to consider adopting the roll up millage rate as recommended by City Manager Jim Pennington.
Before voting on the budget though, council will allow public comments during an official public hearing on the proposed budget, which now includes a 2 percent cost of living adjustment for city employees that was absent from the original budget proposed by Pennington.
The salary increases are expected to cost around $280,000.
The roll up process includes a millage rate increase of 0.372 mills which is designed to replace the $635,839 the city would lose due to declining property values. Under Georgia law it is not considered a tax increase, but the net effect will vary from property to property depending on whether its value dropped, and how much it dropped.
Although it is anticipated that many residents will pay almost the same in property taxes this fall as they did last year, there will be tax increases for some property owners.
The city did not “roll up” the millage rate last year, absorbing the $200,000 loss which came the year following a 1.25 millage rate increase was enacted to stabilize the budget for the next several years as city officials have worked to cut costs.
In a budget letter to council, City Manager Jim Pennington noted that the loss of special sales tax funds for transportation combined with a potential revenue decline in the 1 percent local option sales tax (LOST) are significant hits to the budget for this coming year which necessitate using the roll up millage rate.
Pennington is recommending the addition of a 2 percent cost of living salary adjustment for city employees which was not present in his first recommended budget. There is a possibility however that council might instead favor an equivalent one-time “bonus” instead of increasing salaries across the board.
Pennington also noted that more savings have been found since the budget was originally presented last month, including a $90,000 drop in insurance costs, a decrease of more than $20,000 in recreation utility costs and further costs for information technology services.
The city’s budget is available for download on the city’s website at www.peachtree-city.org/DocumentCenter/View/5803.