August 15, 2006
Taxes are going up in Richmond County.
After several meetings putting it off, commissioners today approved the budget, which includes a millage increase.
On a 7-2 vote, the board approved a 1.09 percent millage increase. That translates to about $60 more dollars on a $100,000 home.
The good news from the tax increase is that city leaders have balanced the city budget.
"At least it assures me of a direction that we are changing," said commissioner Don Grantham. "We're just not going down the same road."
"We're pretty much back to a flat budget, which is pretty much where we wanted to be," said city administrator Fred Russell. "The big discussion becomes what are we going to do next year."
That really is the concern here, as city leaders will meet on Thursday to start working on the 2007 budget.
They're expecting to deal with another multi-million dollar deficit.
The city administrator assured commissioners he would not propose another tax increase, saying he was sure major cuts would be necessary.
Here's how Richmond County's tax rate stacks up with those of comparable counties.
Richmond County: 7.899 (new)
McDuffie County: 8.50
Columbia County: 7.03
Muskogee County: 16.68
Leaders did say they worried that this tax increase might make people want to move out of the county.