AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s a divided and frustrated city government as commissioners fail again to agree on this year’s millage rate.
“I’m standing firm on a rollback, a full rollback and that’s the way it needs to be,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
But Augusta’s budget writers are not supporting the rollback millage rate, saying it means a loss of nearly a half a million dollars in revenue.
“We look at the costs increases of everyday life, everything costs more, you look at individually in our own households your government is going to need an increase in order to provide the services they have to provide for,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
A compromise from Commissioner Hasan was to go with the rollback rate except for the fire tax, where new revenues will be needed as the city builds a new fire station in the Powell Road-Gordon Highway area, but others say that’s not a concern.
“We know we’re going to have a surplus each year, the surplus is going to push five million again I’m sure we can find some money we also have eight point five million left in ARP money we can talk about we got plenty of money,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.
But what the city doesn’t have is a millage rate, and tax bills can’t go out next month until one is approved.
Does this look bad for the commission not to be able to get this done?
“If we just adopt what the staff tells us to do every year, then all of a sudden everybody is paying more taxes and what you’re seeing is a good portion of the commission is trying to protect the taxpayers,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.
But until there’s an agreement on the rate soon, there will not be any tax bills to pay.