The small city's net tax digest, the value of all of its land, buildings and vehicles, has shrunk by 43 percent since the recession, from a high $28.8 million in 2007 to just more than $16 million in 2011. The digest declined by 5.2 percent this year as property values continue to fall.
To offset those tax revenue losses, the city is raising its millage rate to 19.892 from 17.518. The city will actually collect $22,728 more than last year.
Whether residents agree with the rationale, they will be able to speak at two public hearings Thursday, one at 8 a.m. and one at 6:30 p.m., at Porterdale City Hall. Those will be the second and final public hearings for the millage rate increase.
The city is also planning to cut two full-time employees, one police officer and one public works employee, and will furlough employees by four hours per week for the remained of the 2011 budget year. The two moves will save $47,000 during the rest of 2011.
The changes will reduce the city's annual monthly expenses from $64,027 to $54,211.
In 2009, the city transferred $231,529 from its water and sewer fund to make up the deficit, which allowed it to avoid a significant millage rate increase. However, those reserves are exhausted. In addition, local sales tax revenue continues to decline and fine and forfeiture revenue is projected to be 28 percent less than last year.
City Clerk Judy Johnson said some residents have been requesting Porterdale salary information. City Manager Bob Thomson has the highest salary at $60,000, while the public works director makes $45,000, the police chief $43,000 and Johnson $41,000. However, every city employee will get a 10 percent pay reduction because of the furloughs, Johnson said Wednesday.
For a full list of salaries and other Porterdale budget documents, check out the attached documents.
In addition to the millage rate public hearing, the 6:30 p.m. called meeting agenda will include:
2. Millage Rate - 3rd & Final Public Hearing
3. Ordinance to Set the Millage Rate for the FY2011 - 3rd Reading
4. An Ordinance To Amend The Provisions Of Section 32-201.1.A(3) Of The Code Of Ordinances Of The City Of Porterdale, Georgia 2003, To Permit For The Sale Of Malt Beverages And Wine By Package Retailers Between The Hours Of 12:30 PM and 11:30 PM On Sunday, Conditioned Upon Referendum Approval - 3rd and Final Reading & Public Hearing