Posted: Thursday, May 1st 2014 at 12:58pm
G'ville City Manager: 'No recommended tax increase'
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – City Manager Kip Padgett stood and addressed the Gainesville City Council at Thursday morning’s work session. He was about to explain the proposed budget for the 2015 fiscal year which begins on July 1st.
“I’ll go ahead and get to the punchline,” Padgett began. “There’s no recommended tax increase, but, please, still pay attention.” Simultaneous laughter and cheers by everyone at the Council table evinced the good news of Padgett’s words.
Months of budget presentations by each of the city’s various departments all came together in this, the summary of all the departments compared to the anticipated revenues.
Padgett said that Gainesville continues to serve as the economic hub for northeast Georgia. “Our medical, retail and industrial facilities draw countless visitors everyday growing our city to over 100,000 people during daytime hours.”
Padgett highlighted numerous aspects of the budget including pay increases for city employees. “This does recommend a 5-percent merit increase or pay-performance increase. Back in 2007… we ended that because of the economy. This recommends now going back to that so that we can reward our employees who are above and beyond.”
“Also, with health insurance – our claims are up,” Padgett said. “Also with some of the employer mandates of the Affordable Healthcare Act…it’s increasing our insurance costs…but this budget assumes that the city absorbs that and does not pass that along to our employees. We don’t want to pass that along to our employees.”
Padgett proposed a FY2015 budget of just over $30.3-million.
“In summary, our budget didn’t go up very much. I think it’s a good budget; we’re looking good financially this year and we look good going in to next year. I think that we’re in a very good place.”
City Council members will spend the next several weeks studying the details contained in the budget before submitting it for Public Hearing at their first meeting in June.
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