Roswell budget predicts higher sales tax revenues: Lower property tax revenues

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ROSWELL, Ga. – Roswell Mayor Jere Wood unveiled his latest city budget April 29, showing some tax revenue was up over last year while other funds went down.

According to Budget Director Ryan Luckett, the city’s overall revenue fell 8.5 percent, however revenue from taxes rose nearly $2 million over last year, resulting in $61 million budgeted to the general fund.

The increase in the general fund comes from better sales taxes collected as well as a general strengthening of the economy. This number includes some conjecture, as Fulton County distributes this money and has not yet released Roswell’s share of the county sales tax money.

Luckett said he expects the county to release the actual numbers within the month, however he projected sales tax revenue to be up by $1.5 million over last year.

Property tax revenue is expected to fall, he said. This is based off estimates from the county and a 15 percent decline in money collected from motor vehicles thanks to the recent legislative changes in those taxes.

The city is also retiring some of its debt service but maintaining the current tax rate at 5.455 mills. This will mean the city has more money to go into its general fund, however state law requires the city to announce this change in accounting as a tax increase.

Luckett stressed the overall tax rate will remain the same for residents.

On the expenditure side of the budget, the city plans to hire three new employees.

These positions are a fire captain, making a part-time digital media designer full-time and adding a recreation and parks crew worker for the Chattahoochee River. Together, these positions will cost $188,000.

A total of $230,000 will be spent on the 2013 election, and $36,500 will be used to create a new narcotics division for the police department.

The budget sets aside $800,000 for road resurfacing.

Among the unfunded projects the city would like to do but have yet to allocate money toward are $278,000 in cultural arts board requests and $145,000 in city beautification projects.

Three public hearings will be held on the budget before the Roswell City Council will add their input. These meetings will be May 13, 20 and 29. For more information on these meetings, times and locations, visit www.roswellgov.com.

This article was published in the Revue & News May 2, 2013 edition