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After millage rate vote, City of South Fulton to seek ways to cut $2.4M from budget

The lower millage rate means budget cuts are in the works. The city manager will look at ways to cut $2.4 million from the fiscal year 2024 budget.

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — The City of South Fulton Council voted Tuesday to give residents some property tax relief. This comes after some council members had a change of heart after telling 11Alive News last week they wanted to keep the millage rate the same.

About a dozen people who live in the City of South Fulton sounded off on the issue during the council meeting.

“We do not want a shortfall. We want to continue with our services 100%," Glenda Collins said.

Collins was in favor of keeping the millage rate the same but the majority of residents asked city council to lower it. 

“Our property values are increasing, so you can’t really say you’re not increasing taxes. If my taxes increase a dollar, that’s still a tax increase," resident Reshard Snellings said.

City Council listened to residents with Councilwomen Helen Z. Willis and Carmalitha Gumbs making a motion to lower the millage rate half a percent from 12.89 to 12.39. It passed unanimously.

“We’re still a young city, and there’s still an opportunity to provide some relief. After thinking about it and being a proponent of the proposed budget, I still think there is room for us to make some changes," Gumbs said.

RELATED: South Fulton residents speak out at property tax millage rate ahead of Tuesday vote

“The City of South Fulton over the past two years has generated a surplus of about $30 million, which yielded us to a $70 million surplus," Willis said.

The lower millage rate means budget cuts are in the works for the fiscal year 2024 budget.

“We’re asking the city manager to come back with a recommendation on how to trim the city budget by $2.4 million," Willis said.

Councilman Jaceey Sebastian has been pushing for a reduction in the millage rate for two years.

“With the economy, inflation, the values are skyrocketing," Sebastian said. "I really, truly believe we needed to lower the millage rate to give the citizens a break. Honestly, I was hoping we could go even more."

South Fulton Mayor khalid kamau believes it's important to consider residents' wishes. 

“The people have spoken, and regardless of whatever we have planned as a council, we always have to listen to our people," kamau said.

City Council will hold another public hearing on the budget on Tuesday, Sept. 5 and then vote on the budget Tuesday, Sept. 12.

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