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Atlanta Mayor’s Office Unveils Proposed $605M Budget

Firefighter Roney Neal opens a fire hydrant while battling a blaze that shot thick, black smoke into the sky over the downtown area Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Atlanta. Atlanta Fire Capt. Jolyon Bundridge said a restaurant was on fire. Bundridge was not aware of any injuries in the Thursday morning fire. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Firefighter Roney Neal opens a fire hydrant while battling a blaze that shot thick, black smoke into the sky over the downtown area Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Atlanta. Atlanta Fire Capt. Jolyon Bundridge said a restaurant was on fire. Bundridge was not aware of any injuries in the Thursday morning fire. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Credit David Goldman / Associated Press
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The Atlanta mayor’s office released a preview of its proposed budget today.

The city is proposing a $605 million budget for fiscal year 2017. That’s an increase of more than $12 million. More than 60 percent of the budget goes to public safety, which includes police, fire departments and corrections.

The city’s chief financial officer Jim Beard says close to $7 million is proposed to raise pay for police sergeants and lieutenants. But as for rank and file officers?

“Those are not anticipated in this budget,” he said.

Beard said any additional police raises will have to come from somewhere else in an already-tight budget.

Another $6 million is set aside for a BeltLine payment to Atlanta Public Schools. That deal was struck earlier this year.

Beard says a “blue ribbon commission” has saved the city roughly $11 million in the past two years.

He says one program, Drive Cams, used in city employee vehicles, has reduced workers compensation rates significantly.

“Basically what the system did was takes a six-second snippet around certain incidents: hard breaking, swerving and those sorts of things,” said Beard.

Beard said tax revenue is projected to grow as personal income and the housing market continue their recoveries.

The proposed budget will be debated and potentially altered by the city council in the next weeks. It’s expected to be approved approved by mid-June and will go into effect July 1.