Richmond Co. commissioner wants city employees to live in the county

Richmond Co. commissioner wants city employees to live in the county

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Commissioner Marion Williams said his message is loud and clear.

"If you live in this county, you ought to pay taxes in this county," Williams said. "If you work in this county, you ought to live in this county."

Over the past few weeks Williams, who represents District 9, has been pushing a law for Richmond County employees to live in the county.

"I probably got some folks upset with me because I brought it up as an issue," Williams said, "but I want to know how many employees period, not just department heads, that live outside of Richmond County."

Williams said that those who don't live within city limits are more likely to be apathetic to changes in taxes.

"When taxes go up, when things don't work well, if you don't live in this county, it really doesn't concern you," Williams said. "It's like you're saying I don't care what happens."

We also asked the commissioner about his own taxes. He admitted he hadn't paid his property taxes for last year."

"My taxes are late," Williams said. "My taxes are being paid but every time I paid them late, I pay a penalty plus the interest on how late it is. I take time because I had to raise some things. You don't know about robbing Peter to pay Paul but I do that sometime too. But it's alright. When I rob him I pay him back."

When asked if he thought this was hypocritical, he replied, "I don't think it is hypocritical? How could it be hypocritical? I'm asking about department heads who are making over $100,000, who live out in other counties. Who don't pay taxes in this county."

Commissioner Donnie Smith says the law prohibits the commission from making any law that would restrict where city employees live.

"The law says in Georgia we can't as a government demand anybody to live within our community, within our county, within our city," said Smith, who represents District 7. "There's no push from my point of view for us to require department heads or anyone else to live within Augusta - Richmond County."

Williams said he has worked out a deal with the tax commissioner to pay his property taxes.

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