JONESBORO — The Clayton County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the fiscal year 2022 budget on June 15.
The total budget is divided into six categories equaling $352.2 million. The categories are general fund, special revenue fund, capital project fund, debt service fund, internal service fund and enterprise fund.
The county’s day-to-day operations are paid from the general fund, which totals $232.3 million. The county is projecting revenues of approximately $226 million, making it necessary to utilize approximately $6.3 million from fund balance, or the county’s saving account, to balance the fiscal year 2022 budget.
Chief Financial Officer Ramona Bivins said fund balance will be used to finance one-time capital purchase requests made by departments.
Bivens explained any time money is spent using fund balance it should not be used for reoccurring expenses such as employee salaries or benefits. She said best practices dictate the county should have at least one month of operating expenses, or about $17 million, in reserve. The county is expected to close out fiscal year 2021 on June 30 with $103 million in reserve and $96 million on June 30, 2022.
The fiscal year 2022 budget includes eligible employee merit raises with a maximum increase of 3.75%, costing $2.9 million.
Additional funding for code enforcement is also included as well as monies for new facility operating expenses at the Sonna Singleton Gregory Senior Center, Lake Spivey Recreation Center, Northwest Library and the Flint River Community Center. New positions will also be added in various county departments costing about $2.1 million.
The budget is built based on a 15.089 millage rate. That means for every $1,000 of assessed property value, home and business owners will pay $15.089 in taxes. Due to the increase in the tax digest, or an increase property values, property owners will see an increase in their fiscal year 2022 taxes.
Business owners pay 55.6% of the total taxes paid while homeowners pay 44.4% of total taxes collected. The county collects about $135 million in property taxes annually, based on the current millage rate.
By law, the county must host three public hearings in July to discuss the millage rate before voting on the fiscal year 2022 millage rate in late July.
For more information or to see the budget, visit www.claytoncountyga.gov.