News 12 at 6 o'clock/ June 12, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- If you own a home in Augusta, your property taxes could be on the way up. City officials say if homeowners pay an extra 35 to $75 extra a year each home could bring in millions for the city.
It's all part of a city effort to raise money the state cut from the budget.
"I mean straighten up the mess that you got going and then you can do something else," said Homeowner Alva Gordon-Crockett.
Gordon-Crockett owns several homes and is taxed on every single one. She's even paying an extra $150 garbage fee at properties with no garbage. When Crockett found out her taxes could go even higher, she wasn't happy.
"I'm not only paying taxes on property. I'm paying for trashcans at empty properties. Nobody is coming across Gordon Highway to live in those houses and I don't blame them," Gordon-Crockett said.
We're told the state took part of the city's budget. Now, the city needs a little more of yours.
In 2013, the city lost thousands in tax dollars after the state eliminated a tax on certain manufacturing companies. In order to make up for that, they need more money from property owners.
"We lost a $1 million this year. We will lose $2 million the next year. This is all coming from the general fund. We will $3 million the next year and $4 million the next year," Commissioner Bill Lockett said.
Sue Parr with the Chamber of Commerce says her numbers are different. The Chamber estimates the city will lose around $1.5 million. Commissioners made all departments cut budgets by 2 percent, didn't give raises and dipped into savings all to balance the budget.
"You can not continue to have department budget cuts or freeze employee pay increases," Lockett said.
Gordon-Crockett wants the tax rate to stay where it is.