• Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Decatur City Commission to consider lowering mileage rate – Decaturish

ByChad J. Johnson

Jun 16, 2022

This story has been updated.

Decatur, Georgia — The Decatur City Commission is considering lowering the mileage rate by 0.75 mils. During a work session on June 8, City Manager Andrea Arnold recommended lowering the mileage rate from 13.92 mills to 13.17 mills.

For a house at fair market value of $500,000 and whose property value has not changed from 2021 to 2022, the owner would pay $3,193.50 in taxes if the city’s mileage rate remained at 13 .92 thousandths. The owner would pay $3,018.25 in taxes if the mileage rate is lowered to 13.17.

“The city has already announced a 5.86% tax increase based on the interim mileage rate of 13.92 mills that passed May 16,” City Manager Andrea Arnold told Decaturish.

The lower mileage rate would only impact the taxes that property owners pay to the City of Decatur. The City Schools of Decatur School Board has tentatively approved the school mileage rate at 21 mils. The school board will approve the school mileage rate on June 16 after a public hearing at 6:15 p.m. Thursday.

The Decatur City Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the City Commission meeting. The board expects to adopt the budget for fiscal year 22-23 and the revised budget for fiscal year 21-22 on June 21.

To consult the budget documents, click here.

The revised budget for fiscal year 21-22, which matches the current fiscal year, projects that the city will receive about $29.6 million in general fund revenue and spend the same amount. The revised budget for fiscal year 21-22 is approximately $369,000 less than the adopted budget for fiscal year 21-22.

The budget for fiscal year 22-23 projects that the city will receive approximately $32.6 million in general fund revenue and spend the same amount. The proposed budget for fiscal year 22-23 is approximately $3 million higher than the revised budget for fiscal year 21-22. To balance the budget with projected revenues and expenses, City staff recommends using approximately $3.8 million in general fund balance.

The city commission adopted the 13.92 mil tentative mileage rate in May, and the proposed Fiscal Year 22-23 was built on a projected 5% increase in the tax summary.

DeKalb’s 2022 property tax summary recorded a 10.92% increase, a total increase of approximately $266 million. About 33% of the abstract is new value and 67% comes from revaluations. The tax summary is 23% commercial, an increase from 21% last year, and 77% residential.

Arnold proposed a lower mileage rate of 13.17 mills, which would generate roughly the same amount of revenue estimated in the budget. The lower rate, however, is slightly higher than the city’s decline rate, which is 13.149 mils.

“That brings in roughly the same amount of revenue as estimated assuming 13.92 mills and a 5% increase in summary,” Arnold said. “To be very specific, I arrived at the three-quarters decrease of factory revenue about $70,000 less than what was generated with my previous calculations.”

Pro Tem Mayor Tony Powers said he was in favor of lowering the mileage rate.

“I know I whispered softly that at some point I would love to say we were able to lower the mileage rate,” Powers said. “It is the result of the increase in the commercial base. There are all kinds of great benefits that we need to have diversified assets here in the city. I think that’s why.

The city has made no changes to property tax exemptions in 2022. Arnold said she would like the city to consider expanding the city’s property tax exemption in 2023 and possibly consider the city’s tax deferral program.

To view homestead exemptions, click here.

Part of the increase in expenditure in the FY22-23 budget is due to the increase in personnel services. Personnel costs represent approximately 62% of the budget.

“The Personnel Services category increases by $2,152,160 in the Proposed General Fund Budget Estimate 2022-2023 from the Revised General Fund Budget Estimate 2021-2022,” the budget summary states. “Within this category, full-time salaries increase by $1,276,560 due to the full funding of all authorized positions, an increase in group insurance and the addition of nine full-time positions which contribute to the increase.

There are a number of new line items in the budget in various areas, including equity, housing, community health, public safety, facilities and green spaces, and recreation and active living. The funding should be allocated to several plans, such as the downtown master plan, the parks and recreation master plan and the action plan for racial equity. The city estimates full funding for all items proposed in the budget.

The FY22-23 budget also includes merit-based salary increases of 2.5% for full-time employees and a cost-of-living adjustment of 2.5% for all full-time employees. . Hourly wages for Active Living facilitators and school crossing guards will also increase by 50 cents.

After salaries, group insurance is the largest expenditure on personnel services in the general fund, at approximately $3.5 million. This expense increases by approximately $458,000, an increase of 13%.

Capital improvements in the budget include sidewalks, street improvements, bike paths, grounds and park improvements, housing and other sports facilities, Arnold said.

Professional services, another major expense for the city, is estimated at approximately $2.9 million, a decrease of approximately $97,500. Professional services include legal services, building permit services, annual financial audit services, IT support services, an urban heat island assessment, and continued racial equity activities.

Expenses for contractual services are approximately $2.7 million, an increase of $625,000. Contracted services include pool management, GIS contract, and master planning services for the Clean Energy Plan, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Downtown Master Plan, and Community Action Plan. racial equity.

The city expects to receive $3.8 million in Local Special Purpose Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funding in the 2022-23 fiscal year. The current special purpose local option sales tax took effect in April 2018 and will end in March 2024. The city expects to receive a total of $20.52 million in SPLOST funding.

“We have expenses [and] we already have commitments, about $12 million to service the Urban Redevelopment Agency debt. We have committed $5.6 million for Atlanta Avenue,” Arnold said. “Again, based on the limits of the capital improvement fund, I added the budget for [the] Multi-use trail from South Columbia Drive to SPLOST.

Arnold anticipates that additional SPLOST funds will be available for the Reimagine West Howard project.

Capital fund tax revenue is expected to increase from $5.26 million to $5.8 million. Capital improvements in the budget include improving Ebster Field and installing lighting, completing a traffic signal study, replacing playground equipment, improving dugouts in the McKoy and Oakhurst fields, the purchase of a battery-powered zero-turn lawn mower, and the implementation of a police take-out program. department.

City staff also created an American Rescue Plan Act section in the budget to reflect projects using this federal funding. The city received a total of $9.5 million in ARPA funding. Decatur is to use the funds by December 31, 2026. The funds will be used to build public infrastructure for South Housing Village in Legacy Park, stormwater infrastructure upgrades, technology upgrades and building supplies. COVID-19 testing. The city will also contribute $3 million in ARPA funding to build an athletic track at Legacy Park in partnership with Decatur City Schools.

To see the complete presentation of the budget, click here.

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