Lower tax assessments would be welcomed by homeowners but it’s bad news for the city, if final figures for the tax digest come in as low as expected, said Mayor Eva Galambos to homeowner association presidents and representatives, on Tuesday.
During a presentation to Galambos and City Council members, last week, acting chief appraiser David Fitzgibbons said he expects a 6-10 percent decrease on the local tax digest.
“That would mean a substantial reduction in our property tax revenue, which will have an affect on the budget,” she said. “We’ve been spending something like 17 percent of our budget on capital improvements [such as] bridges, sidewalks, paving roads, and intersection improvements.”
City Hall hosted an open house for homeowner association members to better inform them on services and the inner workings of the city.
City Manager John McDonough said over $75 million in funded capital projects will be delivered over the next 3-4 years. “If the city stopped today you would see ongoing construction for at least the next 36 months,” he said.
Sandy Springs spends at least 20 percent of its annual budget on capital improvements, McDonough said, compared to about 5 percent in other cities. The goal has been to deliver $15-$20 million annual in projects, he added.
Earlier this week, David Fitzgibbons told Patch the lower tax digest estimates are due to unexpected foreclosures.
There were 430 foreclosures in Sandy Springs in 2011, and a total of 7,600 in Fulton County.
That could be a value lost of $300 million to $500 million.
“As long as there is inventory that needs to be sold, it will depress market values,” Fitzgibbons said.
There are 347,000 taxable parcels of land in Fulton County, according to Fitzgibbons. Sandy Springs represents 26,000 or 7.5 percent of taxable parcels.