Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Who Didn't See This One Coming

The mayor’s proposed FY 2011 budget includes a property tax increase of 0.5 mills. On top on the 0.25 mill increase for FY 2010. On top of all of those assessment increases over the past couple of years. Gee, what a surprise.

The schedule for legally mandated TBOR hearings and public comment is as follows:

• Hearing #1 – Wednesday, May 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Planning Auditorium at 120 W. Dougherty Street [followed by a Mayor & Commission Work Session on the FY11 Budget]

• Hearing #2 – Thursday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the Planning Auditorium at 120 W. Dougherty Street [followed by a Mayor & Commission Work Session on the FY11 Budget]

• Hearing #3 – Thursday, May 20 at 6:45 p.m. in the City Hall Commission’s Chambers at 301 College Avenue [followed by a Mayor & Commission Agenda Setting Session]

• Public comment – Thursday, May 20 (Agenda Setting Session) - 7:00 p.m. - City Hall Commission Chamber

• Public comment – Tuesday, June 1 (Regular Voting Session) - 7:00 p.m. - City Hall Commission Chamber

See the full proposed FY 2011 budget here (large PDF).

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Anonymous said...

quit your bitchin' and make some constructive suggestions.

james said...

I (and many others) have made such constructive suggestions for years now - all of which have been pointedly ignored by the folks down at City Hall.

And I did not do so while safely ensconced behind a shield of anonymity.

james said...

But, for sake of argument, the Unified Government should:

• Adopt zero-based budgeting as a means of better tracking and controlling expenses

• Quit taking irreplaceable property off of the property tax digest

• Quit building projects with SPLOST money that will require ongoing operating and maintenance expenses

• Quit starting projects with grant money that will have to be absorbed by the general budget when the grants run out

• Quit subsidizing selected groups with sweetheart $1/year leases of county property

• Extend water and sewer lines (the water and sewer enterprise fund actually turns a profit)

How is that for starters?

Anonymous said...

Zero based budgeting does not work. Period. Never has, never will. It is not and has never been the panacea that people seem to think it should be. It would also require the hiring of a large number of new staff members...which increases costs. This to me is very counter intuitive to your 'salvo'. This is not just me saying this is years of scholarship that says this very same thing.

Sure there are different ways they could approach budgeting but ZBB is NOT and will NEVER EVER be the answer.

james said...

Perhaps zero-based budgeting is not (part of) the answer, though I think that giving it a shot would not hurt. Or perhaps a multi-year budget cycle. Regardless, my thought is that the Unified Government needs to fundamentally rethink the manner in which it does things.

Anonymous said...

giving it a shot could hurt... it is a BAD budgeting philosophy. Multi-year budgets may help, but the State of Georgia doesn't allow local governments to have a true multi-year budget. The commission would have to approve a budget each year regardless of how it was developed.

that of course doesn't mean they cannot rethink how it is done...but ZBB is horrible