District 9 Atlanta City Councilwoman Felicia Moore told the Buckhead Business Association on Thursday, April 19, the city is about to enter its next budget cycle with a $20 million budget gap.
Moore’s district runs from Bankhead to Buckhead and encompasses the southern portion of Buckhead below the business district. Moore currently serves as chairwoman of the City Council’s Finance/Executive Committee, having replaced another Buckhead representative, Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean, District 8.
The number of foreclosures continues to eat away at property values and Fulton County Interim Chief Appraiser David Fitzgibbon has said local governments can expect a 6 to 8 percent decline in the tax digest. That leaves the city with a difficult but familiar task: providing the same or better level of service while cutting back
“One of the things we are not considering is an increase in property taxes,” Moore said.
The next fiscal year starts July 1.
Moore said it is up to Mayor Kasim Reed to propose ways to cut the budget without increasing revenue, but she has ideas about how to make the budget process easier to follow.
She said there will be an interactive town hall meeting broadcast on Channel 26, which can also be streamed online. People watching at home will be able to call in their questions and ask them using Twitter, she said. She said between the late hours of city meetings and the difficulty of parking around City Hall, it’s tough for working families to attend.
Moore also wants to adopt a budget in a special meeting not connected to any other City Council business so the budget can be the meeting’s main focus.
“Sometimes we do everything at the last minute and we find out we have to tweak stuff later,” she said.