With the one required public hearing in the books, the Hall County Board of Commissioners will vote in two weeks on the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, a spending plan that totals more than $344 million, thanks to in part an influx of federal and state grant monies.
"Approximately $10.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding has been included for potentially eligible costs," said County Finance Director Dena Bosten during her presentation. "Additionally, we anticipate funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank in an amount totaling $5 million for roads and road improvement projects."
Money from the funding will be used for those capital improvement projects and operations put on hold during the pandemic.
Bosten also offered details on spending increases for employee salaries, the fire services fund, the Allen Creek Soccer Complex fund and several other areas of increased spending.
The additional spending will be offset by increased revenues, according to Bosten.
"Property tax revenue is projected to increase by 5.5% over the current fiscal year even with a full millage rate rollback of 4.636," Bosten said. "The increase in property tax revenue is attributed to new growth within the digest in Hall County."
Bosten said sales tax revenue continues to show steady growth despite the pandemic, and she said local option sales tax/ad valorem tax is also expected to grow in the upcoming fiscal year.
Only one citizen spoke up during Thursday afternoon's public hearing, and she reminded commission members that even with promising numbers in revenue and grant allocations, the last year had been tough on many Hall County residents on a personal level.
Susan Collins said she owned rental property to generate retirement income, and even with a full millage rate rollback, her taxes will rise because of increased property assessments.
"It doesn't matter if you lower the millage rate if the property value comes up $40,000," Collins said. "I tell [my renters] if they take care of the place and you pay on time, then I won't go up on your rent. I've done that for a lot of years now."
She asked commissioners to consider the impact on housing with the higher property assessments.
Because the millage rollback rate and the overall general fund rate are the same for the FY22 budget, only one public hearing is required by law. The commission will take a formal vote on the spending plan at its meeting on Thursday, June 24.
The 2022 Budget in Brief for Hall County Government is available here.