Property taxes going up despite public input meetings

Property taxes going up despite public input meetings

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - "Well, when you pass the budget, and the budget is based on the tax millage rate, but by law we still have to hear [input]," said Board President Venus Cain. "It's like the State makes us do things backwards."

It's the fact the Board of Education said they knew all along: property taxes for Richmond county residents had to go up. 

"It's very difficult when we're being asked to do more with less," explained Cain.

She said the unanimous vote to raise the millage rate was the only way to avoid dire results.

"The classrooms would have been so large, I don't think any child would have had the opportunity at a fair education," said Cain.

Nobody from the community rose to speak out against the tax increase at Thursday's final public input meeting. PTA President Monique Braswell said she's not surprised. 

"It was passed before they started having the public input," said Braswell. 'They didn't want the public input. So, what sense did it make to speak?"

Braswell said she was hoping the school board could have found other places to cut from to avoid the increased taxes.

"There were other ways and other things they could have done, looked deep inside of what they're not cutting, and make those cuts as opposed to raising the taxes," said Braswell.

Cain said without future help from the State, we could be back in the same position next year. 

"I hope we can start putting pressure on the state to do what they're supposed to do to fund public education at the levels," said Cain.