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Tax rate likely staying same for Flowery Branch residents
06142019 Flowery
Flowery Branch Finance Director Alisha Gamble speaks Thursday, June 13, to City Council about the South Hall city’s 2019-20 proposed budget and tax rate. - photo by Jeff Gill

Flowery Branch’s property tax rate looks poised to remain the same for 2019-20.

The City Council gave its first OK Thursday night to keep the rate at 3.264 mills, with 1 mill equal to $1 per $1,000 in assessed property value.

Under that formula, a $250,000 home — believed to be the median home value in Flowery Branch — would be taxed at $326.40.

The council passed the rate June 13 after holding a public hearing on the tax rate and the city’s fiscal 2020 budget, which takes effect July 1.

No one spoke at the hearing or at one that was held earlier in the day.

The council is set to hold a final vote on the tax rate at its June 27 meeting. Before the vote, the council will hold final public hearings on the tax rate and budget.

At that meeting, beginning at 6 p.m., the council also will vote to adopt the budget. That measure only requires one vote.

The June 27 votes and public hearings will take place at City Hall, 5410 W. Pine St.

The city is considering a $5.2 million general fund budget for fiscal 2020 — up about 14 percent over the $4.6 million budget that was approved for the current fiscal year. The budget shows the city using $259,060 in reserves to help cover expenses.

The budget includes a 2.5 percent cost-of-living raise for city employees — something addressed by Councilman Joe Anglin Thursday night.

“I think we all believe that if you’re not getting raises, then folks are taking pay cuts relative to inflation, and that’s a losing situation for everybody,” he said.

Also, the city is looking to spend about $130,000 on contracted labor for building inspections and code enforcement, as the city has approved hundreds of homes and apartments since last year.

In addition to the general fund, the city’s overall budget also includes funds for water and sewer, and special purpose local option sales tax projects, among other needs. In total, the proposed budget for 2019-20 is nearly $12 million.

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