City Council’s April 30 discussion about the upcoming budget took longer than three hours as council members debated where to spend money on bricks and mortar projects.

Fiscal Year 2014 begins on July 1, three months before municipal elections. City Council usually approves the budget in June.

Last year’s approved general fund budget was $90 million. This year, city staff is expecting an approximate 4 percent drop in revenue, around $3.3 million, partially because of appeals to property tax appraisals and the unknown effect of changes to taxes on vehicles.

The state Legislature removed the so-called “birthday tax,” replacing it with a fee assessed when people buy cars.

The general fund budget is different than the capital budget. The general fund pays for city operations while the capital funds are for building projects like roads and bridges.

In its capital plans, the area that received much of the council’s attention on April 30, the city staff is recommending $15 million for its downtown revitalization projects, a cost council didn’t question. Everything else – storm water, sidewalks to a gateway beautification project – received additional scrutiny from council members.

City budget hearings
City Council will hold budget hearings throughout the month of May and will hold public hearings on the budget in June.
Here are key dates in the budget process. Meetings are held at City Hall, 7840 Roswell Road, and open to the public. Meeting times will be available at sandyspringsga.gov.

  • May 7- Budget workshop
  • May 21- City Council budget presentation
  • June 4- First public hearing
  • June 18- Final public hearing and adoption

Source: city of Sandy Springs