Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

June 11, 2014

City discusses budget; proposes tax increase

VALDOSTA — The City of Valdosta hosted the first night of two public hearings Tuesday to discuss the 2015 Fiscal Year budget, but only allowed questions from the public at the beginning of the meeting.

City Manager Larry Hanson opened the meeting and stood before the Valdosta City Council and said, “This budget is balanced, and it does anticipate a property tax increase. We will talk about that the next two nights depending on the conversations with you (the council) and the decisions we make.”

The Tuesday night hearing reviewed the city's enterprise funds, which are departments that fund themselves, such as: Sanitation, Mathis Auditorium, Public Works, Waste Water and Water Treatment, Community Protection (i.e. marshals), Planning and Zoning, Inspections, Information Technology, Neighborhood Development, and Public Involvement.

All of these departments are faring well, except for the Inspections Department.

“All of the enterprise funds are all doing OK with the exception of the Inspections Department,” Hanson said. “It's very cyclical and it's based on economy, and what's going on in the building industry, which has been down. But we're hopeful that this will be the year that we'll see some projects that we've been working on.”

The inspections department recommended revenue for 2015FY is $750,500, but its expenditures total $997,029.

Tonight, the second public hearing will focus on the general fund. This is significant because property tax goes into the general fund. At the beginning of the meeting, the public will be able to ask questions of the council.

The possibility of raising the millage rate, which is a tax increase, may be discussed.

The City of Valdosta has operated without raising the millage rate since 1992. The city has lowered the millage rate 12 times in the last 18 years.

Valdosta's millage rate currently stands at 4.102. In 1992, it was raised to 6.25. The city faces declining revenues.

The Local Options Sales Tax (LOST) is expected to bring in $800,000 less than the city budgeted.

The low millage rate coupled with declining revenues are two of the main reasons why the city proposes a millage increase.

“We're going to present them (the City Council) some scenarios (tonight) to get the feedback and that's why I said earlier that the budget is going to have a recommended tax increase, but it's really up to them to decide what to do,” Hanson said.

The city's second budget public hearing begins 5:30 p.m. today, Valdosta City Hall. More information: Call the City of Valdosta, (229) 259-3548.


Text Only
Local News
  • EOM July 2014.jpg Sgt. Jonathan Yeargin Honored as July 2014 Employee of the Month

    Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Fire Chief Freddie Broome honored Jonathan Yeargin as the July 2014 Employee of the Month at the July 10 City Council meeting.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay Griner.jpeg Griner wins Lowndes commission runoff

    A long nine-week runoff election between Clay Griner and G. Norman Bennett came to an end Tuesday night with Griner beating Bennett by 1,060 votes, with approximately 70 provisional ballots left to count.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140722-Runoff_Voting003.jpg State Senate District 8 too close to call

    The race for State Senate District 8 appeared too close to call as of The Times print deadline late Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Georgia_Stew.jpg Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a matchup against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn that will help determine which party controls the Senate for the final years of the Obama administration.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • County OKs $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment

    By a divided vote, the Lowndes County Commission approved spending $1,638,000 to purchase two pieces of equipment to improve the county’s water quality as per an agreement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    July 23, 2014

  • Baytree Animal Hospital LB copy.JPG Animal hospital named Business of the Week

    Baytree Animal Hospital was named Leading Business of the Week by the  Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce for July 14.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gavel-courtroom.jpg Water treatment plant discussed

    The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners discussed purchasing two pieces of equipment for the Alapaha Water Treatment Plant and the Spring Creek System for a total of $1,638,000 during its Monday work session and is expected to vote on the issue tonight.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • education.jpg Charter school petition denied

    Both the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school boards unanimously denied the joint charter petition from Scintilla Charter Academy during their respective meetings Monday evening.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • echols_alapapa.jpg WWALS gets grant from river network

    The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-ARJim2.jpg Teacher at home anywhere in the world

    Variety is the spice of life. South Georgia is home to a diverse group of people, each with a unique life story. One man with glorious tales of travel and selfless volunteer work is Jim Kokoruda.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results