Chamblee, GA, June 27, 2017 — by Trey Benton — The City of Chamblee will hold three required public hearings as Council begins deliberations to set the 2017 City Tax Rate, an exercise that is done annually. Back in December of 2016, Chamblee passed their fiscal year 2017 budget, a budget that includes $21,675,877 in the General Fund, using $657,593 from fund balance reserves to fund engineering for capital projects in the H.O.S.T Fund.
The property tax estimates in this proposed budget are based on the 2016 millage rate of 6.4 mils. Recent increases in the Tax Digest due to higher DeKalb County property assessments, will result in a tax collection increase year-over-year if the City opts to keep the millage rate at 6.4 mills. The term “tax increase” relates to the total amount of property tax proceeds the City will collect in 2017, as compared to total collections in 2016. Because property valuations are higher, at the same tax rate, the haul is comparatively higher. Chamblee says other revenue sources are being budgeted at or near 2016 actuals for 2017.
A number the City is required by law to broadcast is called the Roll-Back rate. This number is generated to illustrate where the City would have to adjust (lower) the City tax rate to keep year-over-year tax collections neutral.
The tentative millage rate of 6.40 mills will result in a collections increase equivalent to .386 mills over what the roll back rate would generate. Without this tentative tax collection increase, the millage rate will be 6.014 mills. The proposed “tax increase” effectively equates to a home with a fair market value of $237,054 being approximately $36.60 and the proposed “tax increase” for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $737,240 is approximately $113.83, for example.
In the 2017 Budget, highlights include:
- A part-time Park Ranger position, responsible for patrol of city parks for the purpose of enhancing public safety;
- Replacement lighting at the Keswick Park softball fields, which will eliminate maintenance costs for 25 years;
- Newly staffed positions to include a business outreach coordinator in economic development to assist with business retention and expansion, an assistant city manager, and a community outreach specialist to build and promote relationships with Chamblee’s diverse communities;
- Funds to secure a contract grant writer who can focus on growing relationships and develop strategies for winning grants;
- Funds to hire a landscape company to manage the landscaping of our parks, allowing existing parks staff to focus on facilities, fields and playground areas;
- The purchase of a video camera and software to record Council meetings; and
- Twenty-four new police vehicles will be part of an assigned vehicle program, so officers can take home vehicles cutting down on maintenance and the replacement cycle.
The City of Chamblee also has 11 active Special Revenue Funds with a total approved budget of $10,749,080 in expenditures with anticipated revenue of $11,087,630, which is a $228,550 surplus. There are many capital projects funded from Special Revenue Funds, including:
- The construction of permanent bathroom facilities for Keswick Park budgeted in the Rental Motor Vehicle Tax Fund.
- Concept and construction drawings for the Peachtree Road Streetscape, Broad Street Streetscape, Rail Trail Segment 4 (Chamblee Tucker to Malone, including the MARTA detention pond) are budgeted in the Main Street Fund.
- $3.2 million dollars in road paving per the program established by the firm IMS is allocated in the H.O.S.T. Fund, as well as funds for the completion of the Johnson Ferry Streetscape and sidewalks.
- An additional $623,604 is budgeted in Host to complete the Chamblee Tucker Road Median and provide engineering necessary to the Rail Trail and Deacon Lane Connector. The money for these projects is being allocated from General Fund reserves
- Chamblee Dunwoody Road Streetscape and the existing Peachtree Road Streetscape (Railroad side/TE project) continue with funding in the Multiple Grants Fund.
The Enterprise Funds have a total proposed budget of $4,263,965 that presents no significant change to the operations of the three existing Enterprise Funds – Solid Waste, Storm Water, and Criminal History. To review the fiscal year 2017 budget in its entirety, click here.
The first of the public hearings will be held at the Chamblee Civic Center on June 29, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. On July 6, 2017 two hearings will be held — one at 11:30 a.m. and a final hearing at 6:00 p.m. After the final public hearing, the millage rate will be formally adopted by Council.