Commissioners To Hold Special Meeting On Tax Hike Wednesday

Commissioners To Hold Special Meeting On Tax Hike Wednesday (Image 1)

Augusta Commissioners will discuss a potential tax hike at a special-called meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Seven commissioners said ‘no’ to increasing taxes by two mills at a meet on Monday.

Augusta Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Johnson voted against the proposed property tax increase, but says some kind of tax hike is on the way.

“It’s one of those things that are inevitable. We’ve been kicking that can down the road for the past six years,” said Johnson.

While the two mills tax increase to bring in about $9 million was rejected, city leaders will come back Wednesday with a smaller tax hike as a compromise.

“We’re looking at 1.5 mills,” said Johnson.

For Commissioners who opposed two mills, 1.5 mills would allow the city to balance the budget without raiding reserves. Right now, $5.7 million out of the fund’s balance has been budgeted, and put back 25 percent of the money into the emergency fund depleted by February’s ice storm.

“It does not do anything to advance services within the community, it does nothing to do to give further pay raises for our employees, it does nothing but allow us to maintain the status quo,” said Commissioner Donnie Smith.

“I don’t see a compromise, right now, until you show me where we can cut some of these non-profits positions we don’t…we can’t continue to support,” said Commissioner Joe Jackson, another no vote on Monday.

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