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County expecting $70 million budget shortfall
by Savannah Weeks
October 18, 2012 05:48 PM | 3118 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Fulton County will have a budget shortfall of about $70 million in fiscal 2013, Budget Manager Hakeem Oshikoya announced during a budget hearing Tuesday at the Dorothy C. Benson Senior Center in Sandy Springs.

Oshikoya presented three ways in which the county planned to balance the 2013 budget.

A restructuring of the Grady Memorial Hospital debt service payment will provide an additional $16.5 million, he said.

Oshikoya said the county will also use the fund balance reserve of $38 million, including 86 unfunded positions and 216 others held vacant through the end of fiscal 2012.

Fulton expected to use about $82.3 million of its general fund balance to balance the budget, but is now projecting it will only have to use about $46.4 million before the fiscal year ends Dec. 31.

Lastly, the county will reduce its budget by 5 percent or $16.5 million.

Oshikoya attributed this shortfall to a drop in property digest value. Since 2008, the tax digest has dropped by 15.3 percent or almost $8 million.

Sixty-seven cents from every dollar collected from property taxes fund general fund services, according to Oshikoya.

The 2012 approved budget budgeted for $523.0 million in revenues and $605.3 million in expenses, but the county projects that it will bring in $538.7 million in revenues by the end of the year and incur $585.0 million in expenses.

Oshikoya said the proposed budget will be presented to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners at its Nov. 15 meeting. Numbers will be presented then.

The final public hearing on the 2013 budget is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 2 and the final budget will be adopted Jan. 16.

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