Gwinnett Update

Gwinnett 2010 budget includes $387 million cut

Commission Chairman Charles Bannister said the budget will provide for maintaining and bolstering core services but will maintain cuts in other departments imposed earlier this year.

The budget includes $974 million in operating funds and $349 million in capital funds.

Revenues are expected to increase by $72.8 million, primarily due to the county’s move last week to increase its portion of the property tax rate by 21 percent. Because billing for the tax increase — about $160 for the owner of a $200,000 house — will not occur until March, the county will receive revenue from the 2009 tax hike in 2010….

Capital improvements — buildings, land purchases and renovation — will take the biggest hits next year. Special purpose sales tax expenditures will be cut in half from $384 million in 2009 to $181 million in 2010.

County officials have said they want to delay new construction projects during the economic downturn, especially those projects that require staffing. Salaries and other operating costs are classified as operating expenses and cannot be paid through sales tax dollars.

Recall effort looks to unseat three Gwinnett commissioners

The Gwinnett County Elections Office has issued applications to recall three county commissioners. The move comes one week after the five-member board voted 4-1 to increase the property tax rate by almost 21 percent.

Recall applications were filed for Commission Chairman Charles Bannister, District 1 Commissioner Shirley Lasseter and District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau. Commissioners Kevin Kenerly and Bert Nasuti, who both voted in favor of the tax hike, are not seeking reelection in 2010. Beaudreau was the commission’s lone dissenter on the vote.

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