Politics

Tax revenue loss will tighten Atlanta’s budget

 

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is preparing his budget recommendations for the fiscal year that starts on July First. Earlier this week, he said he’ll recommend spending $20 million less than the current budget. During its recent retreat, the city council started to prepare for the recommendations.

City council President Ceasar Mitchell said the Mayor is reacting to a decrease in Atlanta’s property tax collections.

“If he’s considering presenting a reduced budget, that’s probably a reflection in revenue numbers,” said Mitchell. “That’s something that we really don’t have a lot of control over in the short term.”

Sales tax revenue was up more than $957,000 last fiscal year. However, property tax revenue was down by more than $19 million. There are some added expenses too. More people are working for the city’s fire and police departments. Federal grants have been paying for some of those positions. However, council finance committee chair Felicia Moore says the grant money is coming to an end.

“So, now you have some of those positions that we’re now having to fund out of our money,” said Moore. “So, that’s money we weren’t spending that we now have to spend for previous decisions.”

The Mayor is expected to release his budget recommendations in a few months.