Commissioners finally set new, increased millage rate

Commissioners finally set new, increased millage rate

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Another day - another failure to approve the city's new millage rate.

"We are on life support," said Commissioner Bill Lockett. "And we need to do something drastic about it."

But then, a late day third vote finally pushed through a compromise: a tax hike of 1.75 mills.

With that second failed vote, it had put the collection of taxes and revenue for not only the commission, but also the school board, in jeopardy.

Some commissioners were calling for some serious cuts before they'd pass an increased millage rate.

"There has to be some substantial cuts that are identified in non-essential programs before I'll go along with a tax increase," said Commissioner Donnie Smith.

Commissioner Bill Lockett, who voted in favor of all packages on the table so far, said there are so many services that need that money, including the repayment of reserve funds and damage from the February ice storm.

"We have so much blight," said Lockett. "We have abandoned houses, so many houses that need to be torn down. We have a deplorable transit system. And we need to have money for that."

Smith said he's worried about the future.

"A two mill increase today does nothing but get us flat," he said. "Next year it doesn't provide any more increase in budget."

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