Editor's Note: The budget issues facing Peachtree Corners has been a hot topic of discussion in the debate over a possible Brookhaven cityhood. The Carl Vinson Institute performed the feasibility studies for both communities, and now Peachtree Corners is facing a budget crisis before it even officially begins operation.
Here is a letter from Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason sent out this week to residents, which includes some additional details on the feasibility study performed by the institute. Thanks to Peachtree Corners Patch for this information.
Dear Citizens of Peachtree Corners,
After hearing from many of you following our first public hearing on the City’s proposed budget, I’d like to address two common concerns and the perceptions surrounding them:
Perception: We [Mayor and Council] are proposing a budget so high we cannot keep the one (1) millage rate promised during the campaign for cityhood.
Fact: The budget is exactly a 1 mill budget, which is what we stated during the campaign. This 1 mill equates to a $10 per month increase in property taxes on a $300,000 home.
Perception: The Carl Vinson Institute’s Feasibility Study (CVI report) recommended a first year budget for the City.
Fact: The report, issued in March 2010, solely:
- Provided the Legislature with an estimated millage rate at which the City was feasible. The report did not recommend a specific dollar expense budget for a first-year city facing unknown risks and approximately $1,005,000 in one-time start-up costs.
- Recommended a 1 mill rate, which the state legislature accepted and wrote into our founding charter to ensure the City had sufficient funding to begin operations.
- Included, as guidelines, certain assumptions, which are not included in the budget because they are not reasonable (i.e., issuing long term bonds to build a City Hall).
I encourage you to read the proposed budget and the CVI report, noting its last sentence: “…the persons who would be responsible for the initial budget of the new city should be careful in the use of the data presented in this report and should probably add a margin of safety to our revenue estimates.”
During this important start-up phase, we ask that you focus with us on the budget, itself, and specifically: revenue assumptions; level of service desired; known start-up costs; and, most importantly, the margin of safety needed for those unknown risks we might face. The Council is committed to being good financial stewards of budgeted funds.
Thanks for your continued support of our efforts on your behalf.