DeKalb 2017 budget relies on deficit spending


DeKalb’s government will spend $93 million more than it takes in this year, according to the county’s proposed budget.

“The economy is up and these aren’t recessionary times, but we're using reserves for everyday expenses,” said DeKalb Commissioner Nancy Jester, the chairwoman of the Finance, Audit & Budget Committee.

The county’s deficit spending figure drops to $53 million after excluding one-time costs for vehicle replacement and watershed projects. About $25 million of the deficit is in tax-funded operations that elected officials have the most control over.

Commissioners said at a budget committee meeting last week the county needs to adjust its spending and services.

“This doesn’t look like a sustainable budget,” said Commissioner Jeff Rader.

Despite the deficit, DeKalb’s budget will still balance by using some of its reserve funds. 

The budget calls for the county’s tax funds to finish 2017 with $33 million in savings, which is $17 million short of the county’s goal of having one month’s worth of operating funds in reserve.

DeKalb’s budget is strained by $17.2 million for employee pay raises approved last year, $10.8 million for Traffic Court, property tax exemptions and the recent incorporations of several new cities.

Overall, the county’s $1.3 billion proposed 2017 budget is 5 percent smaller than last year’s.

The DeKalb Commission is reviewing CEO Mike Thurmond’s recommended budget before voting on it at the end of this month.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Community Lens for Nov. 23
Community Lens for Nov. 23

Calling amateur photographers! Have you taken a great picture that you’d like to share with the world? One with action, great lighting and/or interesting subjects? E-mail it to communitynews@ajc.com. Please no selfies, for-profit promotional pics, group shots or anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.
Q&A on the News

Q: In the past several months I have noticed that we receive mail well past 6 p.m. at least two days a week. Are the mail carriers receiving overtime pay? Are these factors driving up our mail costs? —Gede Kalinauskas, Roswell A: Delivery times can vary throughout the year, often due to circumstances beyond the U.S. Postal Service’s control...
Questions, answers on American mass shootings
Questions, answers on American mass shootings

The massacre of 26 worshipers at a rural Texas church is the latest in a series of mass shootings across America in recent years. Each tragedy spurs arguments about gun violence, mental health, how much firearms should be regulated and what’s driving the prevalence of mass shootings. PolitiFact has worked for years to research these topics. Here...
Teen connected to Gwinnett man’s murder gets $500,000 bond 
Teen connected to Gwinnett man’s murder gets $500,000 bond 

A teen connected to a Gwinnett man’s murder may be getting out of jail soon, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Alex Powell, 17, faces an assault with intent to commit a crime charge after accepting a plea deal for his involvement in 21-year-old Akeem Turner’s murder, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.  A judge...
Ex-DeKalb corrections officer convicted of rape may be hiding in South Georgia
Ex-DeKalb corrections officer convicted of rape may be hiding in South Georgia

A convicted former DeKalb corrections officer who fled during his rape trial may be hiding in Glynn County, authorities said.  Charles Pinckney has been on the run since Oct. 27, the day of closing arguments in his trial, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Pinckney was convicted and subsequently sentenced to 45 years for raping...
More Stories