Property tax increase expected with new Macon-Bibb budget
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb commissioners approved a new budget that could increase taxes.
The vote was 6-3 Tuesday night in favor of the budget.
“It’s necessary,” Commissioner Gary Bechtel said. “It’s the first tax increase we’ve had in the county in five years.”
But not all commissioners are seeing eye to eye – opposed was District 6 Commissioner, Joe Allen.
“I do have a problem doing a 2 mill tax increase when I look at everything,” Allen said. “We didn’t have to get to this point.”
Bechtel sees otherwise.
“We gotta stay ahead of the growth, and that’s what we’re trying to do with this budget.”
One thing in the budget commissioners do agree on: a pay raise for Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters.
“Hopefully with some pay increases we’ll be able to attract candidates and get our sheriff’s office up to a full force.”
But on Allen’s mind and his constituents minds in District 6 – the tax hike. If approved the mil increase would raise the property tax on a $100,000 home by $99 a year.
“I’m a tax payer too I’m gonna have an increase in my property taxes if we approve the millage rate,” Bechtel said.
According to Allen and a state representative, it’s the people in the county before consolidation who keep seeing taxes.
Commissioners are hoping the new budget brings improvements to recreation and public safety in Macon -Bibb.
Also on Tuesday, commissioners approved a construction agreement to build a new $2 million senior citizens center at Central City Park. They also agreed to extend the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and agreed on a letter of intent to have a Coastal Plain League Baseball team play at Luther Williams Field.