Brookhaven’s mayor is proposing the city collect and spend $15.7 million in its first year of operation.

Mayor J. Max Davis directed the city’s first budget recommendation to members of Brookhaven City Council in a memorandum released Jan. 25 and posted on the city’s website.

The memorandum lists proposed city revenues of $15.6 million to come from $13.9 million in taxes, $635,000 in licenses and permits, $370,000 in charges for services, $800,000 in fines and forfeitures and $50,000 from miscellaneous sources.

J. Max Davis

The amount is much less than the $20 million-plus in revenues the Carl Vinson Institute of the University of Georgia originally projected the new city could collect. Davis said the amount was lower because this will be the city’s first year of operation.

“As was expected, our first year budget revenues are significantly less than they will be in our first full year of operations and revenue project for 2014,” Davis wrote in his memo. “However, our FY 2013 budget anticipates enough revenue to support a responsive and transparent city while remaining within the millage rate cap outlined in the charter.”

Davis recommended the city impose the full tax rate allowed under its charter – 3.35 mills. A mill is a tenth of a cent. Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessed value of a property by the millage.

“Though my preference is a lower millage rate, I do not feel that would be a responsible recommendation for our first year due to the high level of demands from years of neglect, the significant revenue sources not received until 2014, a troubled real estate market just starting to rebound and the unknown expenses we may face during our first year,” the mayor wrote.

Davis recommended the city spend $3.9 million on finance and administration, $1.8 million on public works, $1.4 million for the city’s community development department and $328,133 on parks and recreation. He also proposed a $4.2 million contingency for future projects and $2.25 million in a reserve for police services.

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Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.