Update, June 16: The Gainesville City Council unanimously approved this budget June 16. The Council also approved a rate of 6.614 mills for the Gainesville Board of Education.
No one spoke at a public hearing on Gainesville’s proposed budget Tuesday, June 2.
The proposed budget includes a rolled back property tax rate to accommodate for higher property assessments. The rollback millage rate is the average rate a city property owner would need in order to avoid a higher tax bill because of an increased assessment value. Taxpayers could still receive higher or lower bills, depending on their assessments.
The millage rate would be rolled back from 3.322 mills to 3.241 mills, an adjustment from the proposed 3.250 mills announced at a work session May 28. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed value.
The proposed $28.8 million budget is 9.8% lower than the current year’s budget. It accounts for an expected 12% overall decline in revenues due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a 53.8% decrease in title ad valorem tax revenues and a 44.9% decrease in revenue from fines, fees and forfeitures.
It is the city’s current policy to keep three months of reserve funds on hand, but the budget includes a proposal to instead keep 2.7 months of reserve funds.
The budget includes capital projects such as roadway improvements, replacing police vehicles, police and fire radio upgrades and a new parking deck near the Gainesville branch of the Hall County Library System. The city also plans a redesign of the intersection of Memorial Park Drive and Old Flowery Branch Road.
The Council will vote on the budget on June 16. The city’s fiscal year restarts July 1.