Some downtown property owners are on the fence over a new tax

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News12 at 6 o'clock/ Sept. 24, 2013


Augusta, Ga---Richmond County City Employee John Stout checks the mail at the Sheriff's office weekly. He finds letters supporting new taxes and others against.

"Everybody I know is against it," said Downtown Business Owner Dee Brouker.

Stout checks to see how many downtown property owners are signing on to the sheriff's new BID district which would increase taxes for businesses to help pay for more deputies. Out of 550 properties only 50 have signed on so far.

"It doesn't surprise me at all, I'm surprised that many supported it," said Downtown Business Owner Dee Brouker.

"I'm not quite sure," said Downtown Business Owner Berry Blackston.

Dee Brouker and Berry Blackston are two downtown business owners who supported the CADI program, which taxed downtown businesses more to clean up. However, they're not sold on the idea of more patrols.

"You don't want to go somewhere with tons of police officers on every corner. We had people visiting in town and they said is this a dangerous area, because of so many deputies," said Brouker.

"If we're going to pay the money, then we would have to get a lot of attention. They do a great job now to be honest with you," said Blackston.

Some downtown property owners are in favor of the sheriff's new bid district. With only 10 percent of support right now that plan will not happen anytime soon.

"The intent of this was to provide an option for taxpayers. They're well within their rights to say this is an option that we don't want. It's our job to give them those options," said Richmond County Employee John Stout.