Athens Clarke County Budget Looks to Increase Next Year

May 14, 2021

 

Credit WUGA

Yesterday evening, ACC Manager Blaine Williams presented the Mayor’s recommended budget for FY22, which includes a revenue increase of $7.5 million from last year. Commissioners then voiced items they believe should be prioritized in the budget. 

According to Manager Williams, the general fund budget for FY22 stands at $148 million dollars, reflecting a $7.5 million increase from last year.

While the millage rate is recommended to be 13.7 mills, same as last  year, total general fund property taxes are estimated to be higher due to increases in property value. Here’s Manager Williams

“Total general fund property taxes are estimated to be 73.5 million, which is 5.3 million more than originally estimated for FY21” 

The total budget for FY22,  including the operating and capital budgets, is $271 million. 

One major item that commissioners Houle, Davenport and Parker want to prioritize includes a pay increase for ACC employees. With the end goal of all employees making at least $15/hour, District 6 commissioner Jesse Houle recommended that employees first be given a flat amount  of roughly $930 dollars, which reflects 2% of the *MEDIAN* salary in Clarke County. Here’s Commissioner Houle: 

“It would be a bigger raise for the people who are being paid less” 

Last night’s mayor pro tem, Russell Edwards expressed concerns about this one-time payment in terms of future ACC employees 

“If we give an employee a raise, if they leave that position would be vacated and somebody could start out again below $15 without getting that raise.”

The commission is set to further discuss the budget on Tuesday, May 18th, where public comment will be taken in person at city hall.