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Healthier economy means more Roswell projects with no tax jump
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
May 14, 2014 10:29 AM | 1522 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Roswell property owners will face no increase in their city taxes if the city’s operating budget for 2015 is approved as proposed.

The current millage rate of 5.455 would be retained, which for the average home value of $258,000 would translate to $562.96 in city taxes.

The improved economy has been kind to Roswell’s bottom line. Rising revenues from sales taxes as well as business and building permits means there is money to spend on improving services and infrastructure without raising property taxes.

“For the first time since the recession, there is enough money from current revenues to fund $2.8 million in capital improvements,” Mayor Jere Wood said in his annual budget message.

Among the funded projects are the final design and right-of-way money for the Sun Valley Extension; splitting the cost with Cobb County for the replacement of the Willeo Road bridge; more sidewalk connectivity; additional funding for Fire Station No. 1 renovation; beginning the replacement of police radios and restrooms at Waller Park.

Overall, there are $70 million in capital improvement projects underway, Wood said.

Total 2015 revenues are projected at $110.9 million, with $24.2 million coming from property taxes.

That figure has declined slightly from the previous year but is expected to be offset by the robust comeback of other revenue sources.

The general fund, which is the pool of money used for day-to-day city operations, is estimated to have $61.6 million in revenue, with expenses of $59.6 million.

Six new positions are proposed, including three in community development and one in human resources.

The job of special events manager would be bumped from part-time to full-time, “to address the expanded demand in special events,” said Budget Manager Ryan Luckett. The budget also calls for merit pay increases for employees averaging 3 percent.

Projects and requests that didn’t make the funding cut were a new code enforcement officer, budget proposals by the arts commission, parking and pool-related projects at the adult recreation center and public restrooms at Barrington Hall.

This is the first year Roswell has used priority-based budgeting to determine funding allocation.

City Administrator Kay Love said that the process showed 74 percent of current city resources already “were dedicated to the highest priority programs and services.”

Several changes and funding realignments in the proposed new budget are a direct result of the priority-based process, she said.

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