More money for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office could mean less for other city departments.
Augusta city leaders are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to exempt the Sheriff's Office from the 2.4 percent budget cut approved for all other city departments.
If approved, this would mean nearly $900,000 will be added to the Sheriff's Office budget, throwing the plan approved for this year out of whack.
Under state law, the budget must be balanced, and Augusta Finance Department officials are going to have to find $900,000 one of two ways.
"Either we have to raise revenues, or decrease some of our expenditures. That's basically what we have to do to move forward...raise revenues," says Interim City Administrator Tameka Allen.
"A tax increase?" we asked Allen. "Not necessarily a tax increase...potentially a tax increase. That's one of the options that has been laid out for the Commission," added Allen.
One tax increase Augusta Commissioners will consider is the 2 percent energy excise tax on manufacturers. The city is losing tax revenue now because industry no longer pays local sales taxes on the energy they buy.
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