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5 things new Flowery Branch budget would help fund
Flowery Branch tax public hearings are set
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What would an additional $217,844 get residents of Flowery Branch in fiscal 2018-19, which starts July 1?

Here are five things that additional revenue would help support in the proposed budget, as Flowery Branch City Council ponders keeping the tax rate the same and not rolling it back to keep revenues neutral:

  1. Construction of a new “pocket park,” or small public park, on the southwest corner of the Lights Ferry Road roundabout.
  2. Contracted services for help with building and erosion inspections. This is especially key, City Manager Bill Andrew said, if developments in the Old Town area get underway this coming fiscal year.
  3. Salary and benefits for a new police officer position.
  4. New police vehicle for the new position.
  5. A 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment and possible 3 percent merit increases for city staff.

“With all the growth we’ve got coming, all the homes we’ve approved, we’ve got so many needs, particularly law enforcement,” Mayor Mike Miller has said. “Residences will pull more resources than they can contribute. It just seems like the right thing to do … and will allow us to focus on some infrastructure issues.”

The proposed rate, which goes before the public in hearings set for Wednesday, June 20, is 3.264 mills, the same as the current rate.

However, because of higher property values, the city stands to gain more tax revenues. To keep revenues the same, the rate would have to be rolled back to 3.078 mills, according to city officials.

One mill is equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value.

Taxes on a home with a fair market value of $225,000 would be $293.76 under the proposed rate, but would be $277.02 under the rollback rate.

Of the total $217,844 increase in revenue, $74,891 comes from property reassessments and $142,953 from growth, Finance Director Alisha Gamble said.

Some property owners with higher values through reassessments would see a tax increase on the city portion of their tax bill, but the county portion could drop thanks to a service delivery agreement between Hall County and its cities last year.

As part of that agreement, approved by the state, county tax rates were trimmed in Hall cities to avoid double dipping into taxpayers’ pockets for services offered by the cities and the county.

The South Hall city is holding three public hearings on the tax increase, as required by state law when a government proposes a tax rate higher than the rollback rate.

Two hearings are set for Wednesday and one is scheduled for June 28. All three will take place at Flowery Branch City Hall, 5410 Pine St.

A copy of the proposed fiscal 2018-19 budget will be available for public review beginning Wednesday at City Hall.

The budget, which will become effective July 1, will be considered for adoption by the City Council at 6 p.m. June 28.

Flowery Branch tax increase public hearings

When: 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 20; 6 p.m. June 28

Where: City Hall, 5410 Pine St., Flowery Branch

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