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PTC staff proposal: no tax hike for upcoming budget

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.

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