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

Officials: Rapper flew drugs across U.S., sold them from apartments he rented
Officials: Rapper flew drugs across U.S., sold them from apartments he rented

An Atlanta rapper, accused of running a cross-country drug operation, was denied bond Tuesday, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Terrell Davis, known by his stage name “Ralo,” faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute. Authorities allege Davis sold drugs from several apartment units he rents in Atlanta dubbed &ldquo...
04/25 Mike Luckovich: I wanna hold your hand.
04/25 Mike Luckovich: I wanna hold your hand.

Ex-mayor Kasim Reed doles out $500k in bonuses, gifts on way out
Ex-mayor Kasim Reed doles out $500k in bonuses, gifts on way out

Just days before former Mayor Kasim Reed left office, his administration showered select city employees with more than $518,000 in bonuses, and gifts that were presented during an “executive holiday party” at City Hall. The spending spree has left the police union outraged, taxpayers fuming and council members questioning its legality....
UPDATE: 1 killed, 1 critical in Fulton crash involving tractor-trailer
UPDATE: 1 killed, 1 critical in Fulton crash involving tractor-trailer

A 71-year-old woman was killed Tuesday during a crash involving a car, a Coca-Cola tractor-trailer and a tow truck, Chattahoochee Hills police confirmed.  The crash occurred on South Fulton Parkway near the Rivertown Road intersection, police Chief Stoney Mathis said.  The victim and a 31-year-old female passenger were flown to Atlanta Medical...
Atlanta City Hall: See who got bonuses from former mayor Kasim Reed
Atlanta City Hall: See who got bonuses from former mayor Kasim Reed

These Atlanta City Hall employees received bonuses from former Mayor Kasim Reed before he left office in January 2018.  NOTE: Job titles as designated in the former mayoral administration. Persons designated with an asterisk (*) no longer work for the city. J. Anthony “Jim” Beard*(resignation effective May 18) -- City...
More Stories