Atlanta passes largest budget in city’s history

(The Center Square) — Atlanta city leaders have signed off on the largest budget in the city’s history.

The $790 million fiscal 2024 general fund budget is a nearly 4.8% increase from the city’s $754.2 million adopted fiscal 2023 budget and a more than 7.8% increase from the nearly $732.7 million in fiscal 2022 expenditures.

The city’s total operating funds are nearly $2.5 billion when combined with other funds, such as the airport revenue fund.

“Now is the time to double down on the progress we have made to Move Atlanta Forward by investing in our future—making Atlanta … the best place in the nation to raise a child,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “We are increasing our investments in people while still retaining the largest reserves in our city and strong credit ratings.”

The city’s final proposed budget included a nearly 5% increase in general fund spending for police and a nearly 1% increase for fire. The general fund budget increased the full-time authorized employee count for police from 2,307 to 2,314 and from 927.33 to 951.33 for fire.

The airport fund covers an additional 260 fire and 201 police personnel for fiscal 2024, the same as fiscal 2023. The overall police budget also maintains funding for another 192 emergency telephone system operators.

It also included a 39.8% increase for the Department of Law, which provides “legal advice, counsel, and representation” to elected and non-elected city officials.

The budget anticipates more than $289.9 million in property tax revenues, an increase of nearly 10.2% from fiscal 2023 and 15.1% from fiscal 2022.

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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