PTC staff proposal: no tax hike for upcoming budget

Council to sink teeth into details Monday night

The first draft of Peachtree City’s budget, proposed by city staff, will not require a millage rate increase, according to city Finance Director Paul Salvatore.

The proposed $29.58 million budget will be discussed at a workshop meeting Monday night of the City Council that starts at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. A second workshop, if necessary, is slated for Tuesday.

While the general fund budget will increase by 1.74 percent, that is due to the addition of $958,000 for street and cart path paving since funds from the 2004 transportation sales tax have been exhausted. Had the city not added those funds, the general fund would have decreased by 1.5 percent, Salvatore said.

The budget includes a proposed 2 percent cost of living salary increase for city employees, who haven’t received such since the 2008-2009 fiscal year. Last year council granted the 2 percent figure as a one time payment to stave off future salary increases.

The budget also includes funding for a comprehensive pay/classification study that has not been undertaken since 2001.

The proposal includes one new civilian position for the fire department: a logistics specialist to keep track of and place orders for needed tools, supplies and equipment, Salvatore said. Beyond that position, there are no recommended staff reductions and/or departmental reorganizations planned, Salvatore said.

If the budget were to be adopted as-is, the city would actually adopt a decrease in the millage rate by one-tenth of a mill, Salvatore said.

The city’s tax digest, based on the property values in the city, is expected to remain flat.

To balance the books, the city is planning to use $794,431 in cash reserves, which has been part of the city’s long-term plan to spend down the city’s cash reserves to the 20 percent level over a period of several years. If a new SPLOST passes county voters’ muster in November, the city may be able to swing the pendulum the other way and increase the cash reserves by about $163,000, Salvatore noted.

Larry.Sussberg
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PTC Balanced Budget/ Possible Tax Reduction

It's great reading that city staff with Dr. Pennington, City Manager and Paul Salvatore, Finance Director are proposing a BALANCED BUDGET with possible tax reduction!

Thank you to the city council! Vanessa, George, Kim and especially Eric who managed this process.

To the soon-to-be elected new mayor and council, now with a BALANCED BUDGET, and assistance of Josh Bloom's Needs Assessment Committee, there will be no pressure from current budget issues so you can properly plan for FUTURE cuts using the committee report as a source document. Over time any balance or surplus may be eaten away by possible inflation, so that should be considered next year (2014-1015). Do it in a non-election year when it's not a source of politics! There is enough time to wait. Do it when we have a mayor who understands she/he is elected not crowned and it a team effort.

As you can see, the "sky is not falling" poor Chicken Little:
Carefully read the posted blog comment made just last Thursday June 13, 2013 on the Citizen blog.

We need candidates who can focus on the big picture and lead our city, not political gamesmanship. We need elected leaders who work as a team to do the people's business not post accusatory blog posts. The sky is not falling thanks to many and now, step by step, those elected in November can begin the work to start looking for savings in future budgets.
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"Larry, as always you cannot tell the truth. I never did a just .5 proposal.

If you think tax, debt and spend are the answers, that is your prerogative. Most people do not.

The Budget is not currently in good shape. This year, even after transferring expenditures from to Stormwater and over doubling the fee money is still being taken out of the Reserve and more tax increases, including SPLOST, are proposed for the future.

Imker has been a major source of our Budget woes. Fleisch and Learnard have followed his lead all the way. Remember, this is the guy who said, "Any idiot can balance a Budget with tax increases and using the Reserve."

Dar, Doug and I wanted to go public/private on Kedron, but Logsdon, Plunkett and Boone said no. We didn't want to replace the Bubble, but Fleisch, Learnard and Imker said yes. Indeed, only around 2% of PTC residents use the Bubble.

I also wanted to see the Tennis Center sold with deed restrictions, as you very well know.

The public/private I did get in place saves us over $200K a year. Problem is we are still spending way too much on maintenance every years.

You have made it very clear you support taxes, building more retail etc. What we need is good paying jobs.

lexveritas, Dar ran three times already and I do not believer every got more than 15%. He is not an answer.

We need to stop repeating history. As I have been saying all along, we need a Comprehensive Strategic Plan to prioritize our services, actually bring them in line with what the citizens want and then move forward.

That has not happened because the majority remains dedicated to getting what they want. This Council it is all four Councilmembers.

Our Budget will remain a problem until Council majorities stop wanting to satisfy the wants of every one in the majority.

There are already changes clearly supported in the OnePTC and Needs Survey that will bring down expenses and increase services. Digging in there will be more.

More spending does not always mean more or better service. I have already proven that with over a million a years in savings."

-as quoted by Don Haddix, Citizen Blog 6/13/2013

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