BREAKING DOWN THE BUDGET
Alpharetta city leaders approved a balanced $140 million scal year 2020-21 budget, but anticipate an estimated 10% drop—or about $9 million—in operating revenue compared to pre- COVID-19 projections for the FY 2020-21 budget, which runs July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.
Special revenue funds
Capital project funds
Medical insurance fund
Debt service fund
Risk management fund
Other Post-Employment Benets (OPEB) funds
Solid waste fund
ADOPTED FY 201920 BUDGET TOTAL: $141.1M
ADOPTED FY 202021 BUDGET TOTAL: $140M
FY 202021 GENERAL FUND REVENUE SOURCES
City of Alpharetta approves trimmed FY 202021 budget
“This particular storm is going to be a little tough on Alpharetta because with 60% commercial, a lot of our businesses, hotels and hospitality sector have taken a beating this year [because of COVID- 19],” Mitchell said. “It’s still very early, but we’re focused on essential services and holding o on the other things until we have a clearer picture.” Coronavirus impacts on the budget About half of the FY 2020-21 budget—$72.26 mil- lion—is allocated to the general fund, which pays for the city’s day-to-day operations. The heaviest impacts to general fund revenues were in sales taxes and hotel/motel taxes, followed by franchise and alcohol beverage taxes, parks and recreation and the municipal court, Mitchell said. For example, the local option sales tax revenue is anticipated to be down from initial projections by about 22% with expected revenue now totaling $13.5 million. Hotel/motel tax revenue is expected to be down by 27%, decreasing from the expected revenue now totaling $6.75 million. “Realistically, we’ve only got two months of trend data [from COVID-19]. I know it feels like we’ve been in COVID[-19] land for a year, but we just got month two of actual trend data for reve- nues collected under COVID[-19],” he said. In terms of funding for capital projects, the city reduced its recurring capital initiatives fund down from $4.8 million to $189,000 due to COVID-19’s impacts on forecasted revenues. The remaining funding was reallocated to cover deciencies in rev- enue in other areas and to a reserve fund, but $4.35
$27.2M Property taxes $15.3M Other taxes $13.5M Local Option Sales Taxes/TSPLOST $5.3M Budgeted fund balance
BY KARA MCINTYRE
Alpharetta City Council members approved a balanced $140 million budget for the 2020-21 scal year at the June 22 meeting—just less than 1% lower than the FY 2019-20 budget—after multiple budget workshops and public hearings over the last several months. The city’s FY 2020-21 budget runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. The city approved no change to the millage rate— which determines the property tax rate—remaining at 5.75 mills as it has for at least the last eight years. A mill is one one-thousandth of a dollar, and in property tax terms is equal to $1 of tax for each $1,000 assessed valuation, according to the Georgia Department of Revenue. Additionally, with the city’s multiple homestead exemptions, homeowners collectively are antic- ipated to save $5 million annually, said Shawn Mitchell, the budget and procurement manager for the city of Alpharetta. While council approved a balanced budget—albeit with reductions to line items within various city departments as well as pauses on some operating and capital initiatives—Mitchell said the FY 2020-21 operating revenues are about 10% less than initially anticipated for this budget year. This is in part due to Alpharetta’s tax base makeup of 60% commercial and 40% residential.
million remains in the fund balance for one-time capital investments. Despite $21.6 million of capital initiatives not being recommended for funding, this means those projects are simply on hold rather than not happen- ing at all, Mitchell said. “I think Council Member [Ben] Burnett put it best when he said, ‘No doesn’t mean no, it just means not now.’ We’ve had a good run as Alpharetta, having a good tax digest that we can fund these projects,” Council Member Jason Binder said. “Maybe we can now use this time to lter out these projects and make sure it is an ecient use of our dollars.” SOURCE: CITY OF ALPHARETTACOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER $0.1M Intergovernmental revenue $3.3M Charges for services $2.6M Licenses and permits $2.5M Interfund transfer from hotel/motel fund $1.8M Fines and forfeitures $0.3M Interest earnings $0.2M Other/miscellaneous NOTE: NUMBERS HAVE BEEN ROUNDED FOR CLARITY.
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