The Inside Story: Local, state leaders speak out on big plans for 2013

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Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Local and state officials have started the year out working together. A hospital bed tax, reforming property taxes and a new bus system are at the top of the list.

Elected officials had a lot to say on The Inside Story on 96.3.

"I thought the meeting went well. I thought we came out the meeting with a sense of unity," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

"It's important for us to understand what our roles are and how best we can work together to move the community forward," said Sen. Hardie Davis.

Keeping Augusta mobile seems to be an everyday conversation with officials.

"We've got to be able to move people to that place. We need to have transportation available to Fort Gordon, Proctor and Gamble or International Paper," Davis said.

"We need this for economic development. We've been looking, saying, it's just for the poor. We need this as an economic stimulus," Mason said.

Mason says the city administrator's role could be redirected.

"He should not be going around brokering deals. He is the city administrator and does not have the final say," Mason said.

Mason and Davis also plan on working to reform property taxes. There's a possibly property taxes might be going up.

"At the end of the day, the government cannot function without revenue. The primary source of revenue around this country are property taxes and sales tax," Davis said.

"Some residents pay for fire and some don't. There's a huge disparity as to how property taxes are broken down," Mason said.

Commissioner Mason says now that the balance of power has been restored. It forces commissioners to work together to get things accomplished.

Be sure to check out News 12's Ryan Houston on The Inside Story with Fatz and Cher every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. on 96.3 FM.

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