Commissioners fail to pass millage rate hike

Commissioners fail to pass millage rate hike

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - It could have raised $9 million in revenue for the city, but commissioners failed to approve a two mill increase in the property tax millage rate, effectively putting next year's budget process at a standstill.

"We are up against a timeline now," Commissioner Bill Lockett said. "This information has to be in."

Lockett was one of three who voted to approve the increase, which would cost the average homeowner at least $70 more per year. Others said the increase is necessary to maintain city services.

"The only way we know to do something about it is to raise the taxes," Commissioner Bill Fennoy said. "I have talked to the people. They don't mind the tax increase as long as they receive the services."

But with today's failure to come to a consensus, it puts the timeline put together by city finance officials in jeopardy.

"We're going to have special-called meeting after special-called meeting until finally we do what we should have done today," Lockett said.

Commission must finalize plans by Aug. 22 to ensure the tax commissioner can send tax bills in time.

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