Administrator: Tax Increase Some Cuts To Balance Budget - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Administrator: Tax Increase Some Cuts To Balance Budget

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Augusta, GA -

Some progress, but no deal when it comes to Augusta's budget.

City Administrator Fred Russell today presented some new options to reduce a projected 8-million dollar shortfall.

Russell is recommending a one-mil increase in property taxes, that's 35 dollars a year on a one hundred thousand dollar house.

The Administrator pointed  out the last tax increase of a mill or more was 2006, and that residents are paying less property tax this year than six years ago.

And a two percent cut for all city departments and some other assorted cuts.

Instead of a 1500 dollar across the board pay raise for city employees, Russell proposing a 500-dollar a year raise for city workers, but some commissioners say that's still too much.

"I would definitely love to give our employees raises but right now it just doesn't look like it's a possibility in this budget, says Commissioner Mary Davis.

You mentioned cuts layoffs are those possible?

 "It would be the last thing we would want to do as well again we got to look at each department to see if there are any kinds of reductions those departments can take not including personnel," said Davis.

Commissioners have set December 2nd as the deadline to approve the 2014 budget.

Some commissioners expressed a change of opinion on Russell's recommendation for  a two percent excise tax on industry to make up for a loss of those businesses not paying sales taxes on their energy.

That would bring in one point five million dollar next year.


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