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“Good news for the tax-paying public: The mill rate supporting the general levy (for the city of Atlanta) will be reduced from 8.83 to 7.85, making this the 6th consecutive year of reductions.”

Those were the remarks by Finance/Executive Committee Chair Howard Shook on Monday as the Atlanta City Council voted 15-0 to lower the city’s millage rate for Fiscal Year 2019.

On June 18, the Atlanta City Council adopted a $2.1B FY19 operating budget, which includes $661.3M for the general fund. The budget was adopted prior to receipt of the final tax digest from Fulton County. The final digest from Fulton County has now been received.

The budget is based on a modest 2.5 percent projected growth in the value of new construction in the city. 

Also on Monday, the City Council voted 14-0 to allow Atlanta voters to decide on the “Sunday Brunch Bill.” If approved in a Nov. 6 referendum, it will allow for the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays beginning at 11 a.m. Currently, alcohol can be sold for consumption on Sundays after 12:30 p.m. in the city of Atlanta. (Legislative Reference 18-O-1395)

During its 2018 session, the Georgia General Assembly approved legislation allowing counties and municipalities to authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises during certain times on Sundays subject to voter approval by local residents.

Specifically, Senate Bill 17 allows the city of Atlanta to authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises on Sundays between the hours of 11 a.m. and 12 a.m. (midnight) in any licensed establishment that derives at least 50 percent of its total annual gross sales from the sale of prepared meals or food in all of the combined retail outlets of the individual establishment where food is served. The new law also applies to any licensed establishment which derives at least 50 percent of its total annual gross income from the rental of rooms for overnight lodging.

Other legislative actions Monday included: The approval of an ordinance adding to appropriations $25,000 from the nonprofit KaBoom, Inc. for the purpose of funding the Freedom Riders Play Space proposal as a new addition dedicated to U.S. Congressman John Lewis and the Freedom Riders at John Lewis Commemorative Park, located on the PATH Trail in Freedom Park. Vote: 14-0 (Legislative Reference No. 18-O-1428)

The approval of a resolution requesting the Atlanta Police Department join the SafeTrade Program to help ensure the safety of residents and visitors of the city while conducting Craigslist and other classified-related transactions and to designate select police precincts as SafeTrade stations. SafeTrade is a national program that helps users of online classified ads conduct business in a safe manner. Under the SafeTrade program, buyers and sellers agree to meet only at SafeTrade Stations, which are located at police stations, sheriff’s offices, or similar law enforcement facilities, to conduct their business. Vote: 14-0 (Legislative Reference No. 18-R-3849)

The appointment of the following cabinet personnel: Chief Randall B. Slaughter to serve as permanent Fire Recue Chief for the City; Roosevelt Council, Jr. to serve as permanent Chief Financial Officer for the City; and Marian Woods to serve as permanent Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources. Vote: 15-0  (Legislative Reference Nos. 18-C-5105, 18-C-5106 and 18-C-5107)

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