Property owners in Augusta could be paying more

News 12 at 6 o'clock/ Wednesday July 2nd, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Augusta leaders are facing a nearly $5 million hole.

They're considering raising taxes on manufacturing companies and Augusta property owners.

The city of Augusta is trying to balance its budget. Now they're looking to manufacturing companies and property owners.

"Raising the property tax would be more of an inconvenience for me at this time since the house is not livable. I'm trying to get electrical and plumbing installed," said Homeowner Vernae Gardenhier.

Gardenhier bought her first home in 2013 and was pretty excited.

"It was a good feeling of independence and being able to do something for myself and not have to ask anybody. My main focus was not having to pay somebody else," said

She could have to pay the city more property taxes. Right now, city officials are considering raising property taxes by two mills which means if you own a $100,000 home, you'll owe an extra $70 a year. It would bring in more than $8 million for the city.

They're considering two budget plans which both include reducing all city budgets by one percent, selling city employees up to 3 additional vacation days, and possibly taxing manufacturing companies up to 2 percent.

"I said before if you're going to raise taxes then go ahead and do it. We need to make sure the money is being used how we wanted it," said

Commissioner Corey Johnson on the other hand says he can't support a property tax increase because the economy hasn't rebounded yet.

"It's tough people are fighting right now to make ends meet. I want to do everything we can to avoid raising property taxes," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

Right now the options on the table don't include going into their savings account. It looks like they could either cut service or raise taxes to balance the 2014 budget.


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