By Charlotte J. Nash, Chairman
Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners
On January 6, 2015 my fellow board members and I adopted Gwinnett County’s 2015 Budget.
We’re planning to invest about $1.42 billion to operate County services and build new capital facilities for all Gwinnett residents in 2015.
Again this year, we worked with residents who volunteered to help us review plans and requests from each department and prioritize the needs. The proposed budget holds the line on property tax rates, addresses critical expansion of fire and emergency medical services, adjusts employee pay, and partially restores funding for some important services that were cut during the recession.
The budget includes a few new staff positions in judicial services and at the animal shelter plus two new fire stations and the new Level Creek Park near Sugar Hill that’s scheduled to open in 2015.
Roadside maintenance such as mowing and trimming sidewalks and medians and sweeping curbs and turn lanes will be partially restored through the use of contracts with private companies. The County will also bring back Saturday bus service for local routes and add two daily express service trips from the Indian Trail Park and Ride lot to help meet demand.
The two new fire stations, to be built with SPLOST funds, include Station 31 near Georgia Gwinnett College and a relocated Station 10 to improve fire and emergency services coverage in the Mall of Georgia area.
The owner of an average priced home in unincorporated Gwinnett pays about $2,470 in annual property tax before exemptions. About $952 of that goes to the County government and the rest to public schools and the state. Property taxes in Gwinnett vary for city residents based on the services their city provides.
Most county property taxes go to public safety and courts, which cost the average homeowner in unincorporated Gwinnett $686 per year – or about $1.88 a day. In cities with their own police force, county tax is lower.
You can see where your tax dollars go by using our Property Tax Calculator on the County website – www.gwinnettcounty.com – under Your Money. Enter your address to get a complete breakdown of how much per year – or per day – goes to various local government services. Or you can enter the fair market value of a home instead.
The County’s Communications Division and Financial Services Department produced an informative video that explains the budget process in detail. You can watch it on the County’s website.
As the new year begins, I hope you will enjoy a healthy, prosperous, and happy 2015.