Macon-Bibb County one step closer to property tax hike
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb commissioners are moving forward with increasing the millage rate by 3 mils. Commissioners voted to approve the increase on annual property taxes in a committee meeting Tuesday morning.
For a home valued at $100,000, homeowners would have to pay $99 more per year. This proposal came as a resolution to balance out the 2018 budget. Interim County Manager, Julie Moore, stated if commissioners do not pass the 3-mil increase, the county would have to figure out how to cut $12 million from the budget.
While increasing the millage rate is a solution for the county, not all taxpayers are on board.
“How do I come up with that much money?,” said Patricia Jones. She has lived in the same South Bibb home for more than 50 years. “I love living there, I want to stay there in that home, but I do not like this particular end of the year when you have all these things coming up.”
Jones attended a public meeting Tuesday morning to express her concerns about the millage rate increase to Macon-Bibb Commissioners. Commissioners wanted to give residents the opportunity to ask questions about the possible tax increase.
“I live alone. I only have the one income and I live on a budget, monthly budget,” said Jones.
The mil increase isn’t the only fee Jones has to worry about at the end of this year. In March, Macon-Bibb commissioners passed an ordinance to charge an annual garbage fee instead of collecting it quarterly like in past years. Homeowners will have to pay $300 along with property taxes, this year, and $240 next year.
Jones says it’s too much at once, “I just think they should spread it out a little bit and do better with the building of it. Especially at the end of the year when all property owners owe taxes.”
Commissioner Mallory Jones agrees, he proposed an ordinance that would reverse the annual garbage fee.
“We don’t always get it right,” said Jones. “I’m willing to say, I don’t always get it right. We didn’t get that right. We need to take it back like it was.”
Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert says going back to quarterly collections would not be a good idea.
“It’s just taking us back to the same situation where the revenue we received is significantly reduced because you go to a 78 percent collection rate as opposed to a 98 percent collection rate,” said Mayor Reichert.
Mayor Reichert also says the annual garbage fee would save the county $100,000.
The committee decided to table the ordinance until next Tuesday’s committee of a whole meeting.
Jones and a few others in Tuesday’s public meeting asks the commission to reconsider.
“I believe in doing our part in our county, upgrading things, like fire stations, I believe in that,” said Jones. “But my thing is this. Why put all of this on one person at one time?”
Commissioners held another public meeting Tuesday night at 6 PM and will hold another, Tuesday the 15th at 4 PM.
Commissioners will have the final vote on passing the millage rate increase next Tuesday.