More Taxes in Gwinnett

From Gwinnett Daily Post:

Gwinnett officials intend to raise taxes to balance the government budget and put more police officers and firefighters on the street.

Nearly two months after commissioners voted on a temporary spending plan for 2009, officials said they won’t use any of the county’s rainy day fund to balance the permanent budget, to be adopted next week.

But the new proposal is about $10 million more than the interim operating plan, and officials said they are hoping for $65 million in additional revenues to make up the difference.

“I don’t see much way to find that revenue without some adjustment to the millage rate,” County Administrator Jock Connell said.

The stadium isn’t responsible for the entire shortfall, but the County sure could use the $19 million in tax revenues already directed to the project, in addition to the $33 million that the County has already borrowed. The Board of Commissioners claimed the County could afford the stadium with ease—in fact, I believe that someone said the stadium would pay for itself from day one—clearly, this was a false statement.

Addendum: The AJC reports where the county has found some extra funding.

The county also plans to increase revenue by $6.5 million by raising fees for things such as Red Cross training, business licenses, mail fees for vehicle tags and gas leak emergency response.

In all, the county has eliminated about 120 positions, and a hiring freeze remains in effect until at least July.

Which has more positive externalities? Red Cross training or a stadium.

Further Addendum: And in case you’re wondering, here is the compensation paid to the man who said the stadium would pay for itself from day one.

GWINNETT COUNTY

County administrator: Jock Connell

Time in job: Four years

Salary: $234,090 base salary

Perks: Deferred compensation contribution equal to maximum amount allowed under federal tax law ($22,000 for 2009); $300 biweekly car allowance; an additional 80 hours of annual vacation leave

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