BRADENTON, Fla. - The Atlanta City Council approved a $1.9 billion budget for fiscal 2016 without tapping reserves.
The general fund portion of the budget is $567 million, a 4% increase over the current spending plan.
The total amount is slightly higher than an earlier draft of the budget due to forecasted increases in sales taxes, property taxes, and ticket fines, chief financial officer Jim Beard said after the council's June 24 vote.
The bulk of new spending has been allocated for infrastructure repairs that were not included in a $252 million general obligation bond package that city voters approved in March. The GO bonds were issued earlier this month.
The council also authorized an additional $500,000 for the city's economic development agency, Invest Atlanta, $1 million for parks and recreation, and $4 million to assist in settling a dispute between Atlanta Public Schools and the Atlanta BeltLine over annual tax district payments.
The budget, recommended by Mayor Kasim Reed, also includes $1.4 million for paid family leave for city employees. Reed said the plan makes Atlanta the first municipal government in the metropolitan region to offer the benefit.
Reed also set aside $2.1 million for after-school programs, $1 million for planning and development, and an additional $1.5 million for code enforcement, demolition and remediation of vacant and blighted properties.
"This budget demonstrates that the actions taken in the last six years under my administration to restore the city's financial health and become a fiscally accountable and strong city are working," Reed said. "During this fiscal year, we will embark on the largest above-ground infrastructure investment in more than 30 years."
Since fiscal year 2010, the city has increased cash reserves to about $145 million from $7.4 million, according to Beard.