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Sandy Springs officials open budget talks
by Bobby Tedder
May 07, 2014 12:08 PM | 727 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents will likely not experience an increase in property taxes during the coming fiscal year.

That was among the projections as Sandy Springs officials officially began the process of shaping the city’s fiscal 2015 budget.

Finance Director Karen Ellis discussed tax projections and other economic elements to be considered by numbers crunchers as part of last week's budget workshop No. 1 at City Hall.

The second budget workshop was Tuesday, with a meeting on the proposed budget recommendations scheduled for May 20.

A final public hearing and adoption of the budget are scheduled to take place before the June 17 city council meeting.

“The housing and development market is definitely on an upswing, so we’re expecting our property taxes to be at least what they were last year,” said Ellis.

“Last year we had a big fall from the prior year due mostly to appeals, so we’re looking at a positive — if not balanced — property tax revenue for next year.”

Local budget accountants are also essentially still studying how the motor vehicle ad valorem tax will work for the city, Ellis said.

“This will mark the first full year of both the birthday tax for residents’ vehicles and the new way the state is allocating those taxes, so we’re working to see how it is to be budgeted in the future,” Ellis said.

“Sales taxes are very unpredictable year to year, she said.

“[The] Georgia Power franchise and the insurance premium tax are year to year. We budget high, they come in low … we budget low, they come in high, so that’s a yearly way to budget conservatively.”

Ellis said the city can expect to continue to operate within the city’s typical allocations this year, said City Manager John McDonough.

“There’s a lot of different ways that communities budget,” he said.

“Here in Sandy Springs we have always found that if we can tie our resource process through the annual budget to our community’s priorities and then execute on those priorities, then we’ll have been successful in meeting those expectations.”
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