By Louis Mayeux

Talk of government austerity and official promises against tax increases dominated the North Buckhead Civic Association’s 38th annual meeting.

Cesear Mitchell

“There’s no will – now – to raise taxes,” said Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, predicting that new Mayor Kasim Reed’s first budget will be austere.

Dist. 7 Councilman Howard Shook agreed during the March 25 meeting that property tax increases are not in the picture.

“It’s going to be a tough budget,” Shook said. “There’s going to be cuts and there’s going to be more cuts.”

Howard Shook

Shook warned that the reductions could further reach into the ranks of personnel that provide essential services such as street and road maintenance. He said police and firefighters were cut last year.

Shook and Mitchell agreed that the city must control its soaring pension funding obligations to find money to provide essential services.