By Reann Huber
The town of Buckhead expects to raise property taxes by 8.65 percent for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, after unveiling a proposed city budget this week of $86,823. The budget increased $6,008 from this current year’s budget.
The main reason for the increase in the upcoming fiscal year’s budget is due to raises for city staff members.
“Nothing’s been cut this year,” said Town Clerk Cheryl Saffold. “Raises are what is accounting for most of the increase along with supply costs that pop up a little more every year.”
Other big increases to the budget include money set aside for the Old Buckhead Days celebration. For the 2016 Fiscal Year budget, $7,665 was set aside for the celebration and they have decided to increase it by $2,345 to a total of $10,000 for this upcoming fiscal year.
“We’ve been growing every year and we want [the celebration] to keep growing. That’s our goal,” said Saffold.
With this proposed budget that council members plan to adopt on June 23, it was required to have a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate. The higher millage rate would be an increase of .186 mills from the previous year, to 2.599 mills for this coming fiscal year which begins on July 1.
Buckhead residents will be able to voice their concerns at three public hearings, as required by Georgia law. The first hearing will be held on July 5 at 9 a.m., with another being held later that day at 6 p.m. The last hearing will take place on July 18 at 6:30 p.m. Council members plan to adopt the millage rate at their regular council meeting the same day at 7 p.m.
Council members also appointed Saffold as Town Marshall at this month’s regular meeting. This position is more of a formality to allow the town council to collect delinquent taxes from residents. They are going to move forward with fixing their sidewalks that they marked for repairs in previous months, as well. Certain areas will be grinded down to get rid of raised areas in the sidewalks, and other areas will need to be replaced entirely.