Public gets a say in $52.66 million Fayette budget

Fayette County Administrator Steve Rapson. Photo/Ben Nelms.
Fayette County Administrator Steve Rapson. Photo/Ben Nelms.

County to roll back millage rate

The Fayette County Commission on June 14 held the first of two public hearings on the proposed 2019 budget that becomes effective on July 1. The budget will be followed by the sixth consecutive property tax rollback.

Revenues for the proposed general fund budget for 2019 total $52.66 million, while expenditures and other uses total $52.122 million, resulting in a $540,250 positive impact to the General Fund. The current general fund budget as adopted totaled $50 million.

County Administrator Steve Rapson (photo above) said this will be the sixth year for a rollback in property taxes.

It is significant that the fund balance is included in the general fund. The expected $540,250 fund balance for 2019 will be added 2018 fund balance of $29,144,510, for a total of $29,684,760.

The proposed budget comes with no property tax increase. Finance Director Mary Parrott noted that the 2018 millage rate rollback amounted to a $599,966 savings for taxpayers, adding that the cumulative savings to taxpayers totals $21.5 million since 2013.

Pertaining to salary increases, the county continues to maintain a merit-only-based system.

The proposed budget includes 14 new full-time equivalent positions and 3.75 part-time equivalents.

New full-time positions are requested for human resources, information technology, public works, purchasing, criminal investigations, tax assessor, fire, EMS and the water system.

Parrott said Fayette County new housing starts have increased 4.4 percent over the past two years and the county’s unemployment rate in 2018 stands at 3.6 percent. That compares to the 4.1 percent unemployment rate in 2017.

Parrott said that, compared to 18 other metro Atlanta counties, Fayette has the second lowest millage rate. Only Forsyth County has a lower rate.

The final public hearing and the budget adoption will be on June 28.