City OKs $19 million budget, employee raise
by Celia Shortt
The Newnan City Council unanimously passed its 2014 budget at its regular meeting on Tuesday, as well as approved a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for city employees.
Under the new budget, the Newnan’s General Fund is set at $18.71 million, with the majority of revenue coming from taxes — property, sales, and franchise. The 2014 budget increased a million dollars from last year’s budget of $17.695 million, and the millage rate is expected to decrease from 4.39 mills to 4.37.
“Council doesn’t set the actual millage rate until late August, early September of each year,” said Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips. “Therefore, when establishing the budget we must make some estimates regarding the tax digest. The 2014 budget is based upon no increase to the millage rate, 4.37 mills.”
The higher budget is due to an estimated increase in the Local Option Sales Taxes, vehicle title taxes, and permit revenues.
Newnan Finance Director Katrina Cline says LOST revenues are projected to increase by $150,000, and vehicle title taxes added $800,000 because of the new tax added in the middle of 2013. The LOST rates were renegotiated in 2012, and Newnan received a greater portion of the proceeds from the county-wide tax, partially due to population increase.
LOST is a one cent sales tax collected across Coweta County for property tax rollback.
City permit revenues are expected to increase by $84,000 because of all the building projects in Newnan.
Of the new budget the majority will go to public safety, public works, and general operating expenses for the city government.
For all city employees, the cost-of-living pay increase is a 2 percent increase across all grade and step classifications, according to Gina Snider, public information officer for Newnan.