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.

mudcat
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Can you prove the actual cost of living really went up 2%

or is this just one of those $280,000 bennies we throw at government employees?

dawgday
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CPI

Since there is no cost of living index maintained by the federal government, the Consumer Price Index (CPI)is one standard that is used. From 2010 to 2011, the CPI went up 3.2%. During the 12 month period prior June, the CPI was up 1.7%, so there is some gap in the number between Jan 2011 and June 2011 (did not spend any more time looking), but we can conservatively say it went up at least 4.9% over the period between 2010 - June 2012. The last COLA increase for the city was calendar year 2009 as the COLA freeze went into effect in 2010, or so a review of the past budgets would show. In 2011, employees did receive a one time 2% "bonus", but that does not translate to a COLA in subsequent years (which is why it was done). In the meantime, at least one of our Council members is retired service member and COLA for 2012 was 3.6%. Social Security for 2012 also increased 3.6% (none in previous two year period however). Having a COLA of 2% would suggest that the city employees are falling further behind for having the benfit of working for the City. Nor does this take into account the increases that are being paid by employees for their benefits as well as lost benefits. In the meantime, the tax digest has dropped between 1.6% and 8% per year during this time, reducing city revenue based upon propetay tax collection (lots of other tax declines not being referenced). So, essentially your proerty tax declined during this period, meaning you are paying less taxes, so a millage rate increase would/could/might bring you to a tax neutral position from 2012 as compared to 2011, and most likely a tax benefit for you as compared from 2009 to 2012.

istilldontknow
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Cost of Living...

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Consumer Price Index - Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers

Series Id: CWURD000SA0,CWUSD000SA0
Not Seasonally Adjusted
Area: Size Class D (under 50,000)
Item: All items
Base Period: 1982-84=100

2011 Annual = 217.577
2012 1st half = 222.354

That is little over 2% growth.

Source: http://www.bls.gov/cpi/data.htm (can't copy the exact link since it's dynamic)

If you use the inflation calculator, $1,000 in 2011 gets you what $1020.18 does in 2012. That's also 2%.

Hope this explains it!

1s0k
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Facts

Please do not confuse the ignorant with your facts. They want to equate local city employees with federal government employees and will not accept anything else.

A 2% salary increase for employees who have lost quite a bit of their benefits recently and have not gotten a cost of living increase in several years.

Police, fire, public works and library employees.....how dare they?

moelarrycurly
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The city manager

has been doing budgets for how many years? Moving every 2-3 years over those years? Of course he wants raises (oops, cost of living) for all. Who is going to ask for them if he doesn't? It's part of his govt. job. Ask for it and council gets to be the bad guy and say no or not yet or one time bonus only.

Let's see, we no longer have SPLOST $$ coming in from the one that expired in 2010. A loss of about 2 million a year for the 5 years before that.

The LOST we share with the county and other cities is currently being renegotiated under a new formula set by the state, that looks like our city share will be less. How much less? Don't know yet.

A major employer is closing their operations here. Do we know what another major employer is going to do now that they have been bought out by an overseas company?

We have an over 5% decline in the property tax digest this year. We are operating rec. facilities at a loss.

We have a national election in Nov. that will decide whether this country goes into a deep depression or hopefully starts what will be a long climb out of the abysmal economy we are in now. Anyone know for sure which way that election will go?

This new budget will start Oct. 1st. Do we know how the national economy will affect our local budget after the Nov. election?

Our council is here to see the big picture and act accordingly. I just don't see the justification. I am sorry to say that.