The city must decide between employees or raising property taxes

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News12 at six o'clock/ Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- If you live in Richmond County get ready, because your property taxes could be on the rise. City officials tell us they either have to cut services meaning employees or raise property taxes.

Richmond County has one of the lowest millage rates among the biggest cities in the state.

"I recommended going up by one mill which is a little less than that. It comes up to about $35 a year," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

A few commissioners say the city administrator's latest pitch to raise property taxes sounds a lot like a public service announcement.

"Yeah it does and that's what it sounds like. A dollar a week could impact people a lot in my opinion," said Commissioner Joe Jackson.

Commissioners Joe Jackson said the increase will affect homes and properties that cost more than $100,000 per lot.

"I've been under the mindset that, we don't need to raise taxes. We need to cut spending," said Commissioner Jackson.

"I don't think anybody would say cut services more than we already have," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

"I would be alright with the property taxes going up. I would need to see what they are proposing at what percentage," said Property Owner Samantha Wall.

Russell is proposing a one mill increase that could bring in $4 million. In his pitch, he also showed the rate at which properties are taxed in 10 other counties.

Richmond County was number nine of the list of the cheapest and Muscogee taxes the most.

"I've always loved Richmond County property taxes. I don't think they're killing people to much," said Wall.

Sam Wall and her family are moving from Columbia, South Carolina to Richmond County. There her tax bill is around $2,400. Commissioners are set to decide on the budget Dec. 2.

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