Macon-Bibb Mayor: Budget heading in right direction

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – It’s a comparison you don’t hear everyday–Mayor Robert Reichert called the young Macon-Bibb government a young horse trying to stand up for the first time.

Reichert says that’s the first step in becoming a race horse–one that can lead the pack.

With his budget proposal Tuesday afternoon, Reichert hopes to lead Macon-Bibb to the front of the pack–just like the horse.

The mayor showed a video to the Macon-Bibb Commissioners and other city workers of that young colt standing after falling a couple of times.

He then showed a clip a little later of horses racing around the track at the Kentucky Derby, all in the name of showing how great he thinks Macon-Bibb can be.

His presented his proposed budget today with an optimism and confidence that he hoped would transfer to citizens of Macon-Bibb.

“We know we’re moving in the right direction,” said Reichert.

Reichert feels good about Macon-Bibb.

“We know we are making people more confident, more optimistic and more enthusiastic about the future of Macon-Bibb County,” said Reichert.

He showed why Tuesday afternoon as he presented his proposed 2015 Macon Bibb budget at City Hall.

Reichert said he hopes to reduce ad valorem or property taxes on city residents within the next two years.

“So we’re on our way,” said Reichert. “We are embarking on a very difficult method of reducing–eliminating city ad valorem taxes over two years. So that they will pay the same rate county residents have been paying.”

And chopping property taxes way down is why Reichert’s final budget number–nearly a 158.7 million–is nearly six percent lower than the consolidation charter requires.

“You’re taking the combined budget amounts that was spent by the city of Macon and Bibb county last year and reducing them by about 8 million dollars,” said Reichert.

The city aimed to base the final number on what they would make in taxes for the year, and they balanced it, spending exactly what they would take in.

And just like his huge binder titled “A Pivotal Moment” that details all the particulars of the proposed 2015 budget, the Mayor says this is a pivotal moment for Macon-Bibb County.

“Make the hard decisions,” said Reichert. “Be fiscally responsible so that our bond rating improve so that our financial status is improved and we engender more and more confidence in the people not just in our community but around middle Georgia throughout the Southeast and across the nation.”

Become a role model, that’s the goal.

“Wow, look at them, they’re making it happen,” said Reichert.

The budget is still a long way from being final.

The commissioners will have some time to study the information first.

A public hearing to let the public give input is on the schedule for June 2nd.

If all goes according to schedule, the commissioners will approve the finalized budget on June 16th.

Then, the fiscal year starts on July 1st.

Categories: Local News

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