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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mayor's proposed budget stresses public safety, 'fiscal stability'; doesn't include cash for jet packs or pirate museum

Thats Charlotte and Dallas, two cities investing in jet packs, passing us by
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • That's Charlotte and Dallas, two cities investing in jet packs, passing us by
Mayor Kasim Reed yesterday kicked off the most excruciating of City Hall processes: budget season!

In short, the $539.8 million spending plan the mayor submitted to Atlanta City Council keeps the city's property tax rate as is and includes cash to bring the total number of police officers to 2,000, create an Office of International Affairs, and fund "youth development and vital cultural arts programs.

Reed's plan also allocates nearly $14 million to help the city's reserve fund eventually inch past the $100 million mark. Reed, in a message to Atlanta City Councilmembers, says the budget continues his goal of "investing in public safety and restoring fiscal stability to the city."

Council will first, however, have to help resolve a $13.8 million difference between projected revenues and proposed spending. Expect plenty of surprises and debates as councilmembers meet with department heads and pick apart the budget between now and July 1, the deadline to adopt the spending plan.

(Worth noting: near the end of budget vetting, Council finds out from Fulton County the actual amount in tax revenues the city's really receiving. It's never the exact amount originally projected. So maybe there will be enough money to fund all the programs outlined. Or, on the other hand, maybe there actually will be less. That's what makes this all so fun!)

After the jump, we've tested the limits of our blog software's technical capabilities and embedded the entire budget. Should it fail to load, click the screenshot we will stick in the document's place. Notice anything interesting? Let us know in the comments or send us a line.

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* Gwynedd didn't believe me, but as I mentioned last week, there were once talks about a pirate museum.

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