DeKalb’s financial woes just got a little bit worse.
Declining property values in the county are forcing an additional $25 million deficit in the county’s 2011 budget.
“Our values have fallen greater than we anticipated,” said DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis during a media briefing on May 2. The county’s tax assessor’s office is seeing a 10 percent drop in assessed property values. In preparing the current budget, county officials factored in a 4 percent decrease in property values.
“DeKalb County has been impacted by the recession,” Ellis said. “The value of real estate is falling and local governments like DeKalb County depend primarily on their revenue source.
Ellis said the shortfall would have to be addressed in June when the county Board of Commissioners officially sets the millage rate for property taxes.
Commissioner Jeff Rader has proposed a 3.3-mill tax increase that would bring an additional $51 million in revenue to address the county’s reserves and general budget.
In February, the Board of Commission rejected Ellis’ proposed $563 million budget containing a property tax increase of 2.32-mill, or 12 percent. Instead, the commissioners passed a zero-tax-increase budget that was $33.64 million less than Ellis’ proposal.
Last month, the board authorized county officials to take out a tax anticipation note of up to $150 million to fix a cash flow problem.