Atlanta passed its budget for the next year. Here’s where your tax dollars will go.

Atlanta mayor Andre Dickens speaks at the Fulton County courthouse on Monday, June 13, 2022. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

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Atlanta mayor Andre Dickens speaks at the Fulton County courthouse on Monday, June 13, 2022. (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

The Atlanta City Council approved Mayor Andre Dickens’ proposed budget for the next 12 months on Tuesday, granting pay increases to all city employees and boosting funding for police, fire and transportation.

At $754 million, the general fund budget is the largest in the city’s history, bolstered by a projected increase in property and sales taxes. Council approval was unanimously, with Councilwoman Mary Norwood absent from the meeting.

The budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which begins July 1, increase wages for frontline staffers including firefighters, corrections workers, 311 customer service agents and transportation and parks employees. All other employees will see their pay increase through a cost-of-living adjustment, effective at the start of 2023.

“This is a budget that’s very thoughtful of our citizens and our staff that’s been needing support,” Dickens said in an interview after the vote. He entered the council chambers to address the members after they passed the budget, thanking them for their work and calling it a “people-first budget.”

The police, fire, transportation, parks department are set to get the bulk of the city’s funding for the next year. Other highlights include funding increases for youth centers, pre-arrest diversion efforts, homeless prevention and tech infrastructure upgrades.

The budget is balanced and would increase the city’s reserves without selling off any assets or increasing the property tax rate, according to the mayor’s office. Still, residents’ property taxes are likely to increase if the appraised value of their homes goes up.

The council approved the budget just after 4 p.m., much earlier than usual. Rather, much of the jockeying over city funding happened before Tuesday. While former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ administration, for example, did not make any high-profile changes to its proposed budget last year before the council made tweaks and voted on it, Dickens’ office amended its proposal a couple times after public pushback.

In mid-May, the mayor said he would allocate $7 million in his proposed budget to a trust fund dedicated to affordable housing, after councilmembers and housing advocates were surprised to see it was left out of his initial draft. The City Council established the fund last year to dedicate a small percentage of the general fund to housing. Those funds are coming from a decrease in “consulting/professional services” costs.

ExploreFollowing pushback, Dickens adds affordable housing trust fund to proposed budget

Dickens also increased raises for firefighters after the local firefighters union said the previously announced raises didn’t meet recommendations from a pay study. The $1 million increase for additional firefighter raises are coming out of the Atlanta Department of Transportation’s budget.

Dickens said those moves speak to his approach as a leader.

“I am somebody who is open to input. ‘Hey, we can do more’ is music to my ears. ‘We can do more more’ doesn’t push me away, it pushes me in,” he said.

Progressive activists pushed back on the increases to the city’s police and jail budgets, but those funding streams remained largely unchanged. Dickens also announced bonuses to the city’s police officers earlier this month, using funding from the American Rescue Plan.

“The result is a very robust budget that includes a lot of actions that will move our city forward,” said Councilman Alex Wan, who led the committee that oversees the budget.