He also called to be sure LAKE got this, and the Public Hearings Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:30 PM are in the City of Valdosta’s online calendar, plus there’s a much briefer story in the VDT today, and see the millage table from last year’s budget hearings. -jsq
It is that time of year when your city government prepares its’ budget for the upcoming fiscal year. As we have experienced over the past four years, this year’s budget presents many challenges. Revenues continue to decline while expenses keep going up. Fuel alone for the city now runs around $1.7M per year and the power bill to run the city for a year is now at $3.4M. Like you have seen in your homes and businesses, these and other costs continue to rise. Major revenue sources such as the LOST tax (our largest revenue source for the General Fund) continue to decline. And the list goes on. The city has now tapped over the past several years all the reserve funds in or der to balance the budget. Those reserve funds are now gone.
I say all this to illuminate the difficult choices that are present in this year’s proposed budget. While nothing is set in stone yet, the proposed budget does include a 2 mil increase in property taxes. A mil is worth about $1.45M in the city. 2 mills would cover the budget shortfall plus allow a small contribution to rebuilding the reserve fund. To put it in perspective—for the average home in Valdosta, they would see an increase of $7.33/mo or $88/year.
All of you are very engaged citizens of our great city and I know many will hav e questions as they should. With that in mind, I want to encourage you to attend the public budget hearings next week. June 10th and 11th—5:30pm—City Hall, a complete and detailed public hearing will be held about the proposed budget. Virtually all of your questions can be addressed during this hearing. Plus you will have an opportunity during the hearing to speak. Mayor and Council will adopt the final budget during the June 19th public hearing.
This will be the best opportunity to become fully informed. Please join us. As always, I welcome any comments, questions or concerns you may have. You can call or email me anytime.
Councilman District 5
City of Valdosta