For the first time in eight years, the Grovetown millage rate may rise

GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF)–  The City of Grovetown keeps growing… but so does the need for money.  City officials are discussing the best ways to increase revenue in order to keep up.

“How can we do things better to better provide services for our residents? At the end of the day, how can we be a better city for our citizens?” John Waller, Grovetown City Administrator, asked.

Those are the questions City of Grovetown officials are facing. The City Administrator said raising the millage rate may be the answer.

“Grovetown has had explosion since 2009; It just keeps getting bigger. However, our millage rate has remained steady. It’s been 7.0 since 2009. Last year it dropped to 6.9,” Waller said.

He said the city hasn’t brought in the revenue that was projected for this year, so to keep it all balanced, things have to change.

Waller said if the city doesn’t raise millage rates, they will have to, instead, dig into reserve funds.

“We have the reserves. We can do it, but it’s a matter of how much risk do we wish to take on. In a perfect world, our revenue and our expenditures are exactly even, and we don’t have to touch reserves,” Waller explained.

He said the city hasn’t decided exactly how much to increase the rate.

Meanwhile, one Grovetown homeowner said she expects to pay more while living in a growing city.

“I’ve been ok with the idea as long as the improvements are made: new roads, new schools, which I see new schools being built. Hopefully the roads will follow,” Teresa Thomas, a Grovetown homeowner, said.

Waller explained that growth, like road construction and new schools, requires management.

“That’s all good stuff, but that’s more streets that have to be cleaned. It’s more area that the public safety folks have to cover. Why can’t Grovetown be the best city in the CSRA? Why not us? So if we’re going to aspire to be a destination city, then there’s measures we need to take. We need to plan smartly,” Waller concluded.

The City of Grovetown did an assessment of all city fees at the last city council meeting. Waller said there’s been an increase in fees for permits and licensing, plus a handful of others

He said this won’t have an impact on the average tax payer, but will help bring in revenue.

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