Fee increase proposal to balance Augusta budget seen as anti-business

Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic
Augusta, Georgia Seal graphic

AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Kirkwood Deal has owned his small business for a dozen years, and what’s being proposed in the city budget isn’t music to his ears.

It certainly puts dissonance into my mood it seems lately that Georgia and Richmond County are anti-business every little bit hits the pocketbook,” said Deal the owner of Kirkwood’s Music.

Fresh off this year’s storm water fee, that hit residents and businesses, city budget writers are proposing a ten percent increase in business license fees to bring in 332 thousand dollars in new revenue.

“Everything comes at a cost they say we have to make the tough decisions to increase fees if need be,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.

This would be the second business license fee increase since 2014.

“I think it’s always too quick to do another one the time scale doesn’t really matter, said Deal.

Some Commissioners agree now isn’t the time to raise business license fees to balance the budget.

“We still have a ways to go deciding where are we going to possibly cut I don’t know if we need new positions I would much rather not raise fees then not have new positions created in this government,” says Commissioner Mary Davis.

There is opposition to increasing the business license fee by ten percent but commissioners say they will support some increase

“It would have to be more than one or two percent you know five or above things do cost more,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

here is opposition to the recommendation to increase business license fees and also the proposal to hike garbage rates, but if those are eliminated or reduced new revenue or cuts will be needed to balance the budget, city leaders will take up that challenge at their next budget work .session November 3rd.

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