AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Augusta residents will be paying more for property taxes after commissioners and the mayor passed a millage rate hike during a meeting Monday.
But the increase didn't pass easily. The vote was tied at 5-5 until Mayor Deke Copenhaver voted 'yes' to increasing the rate by 1.75 mills.
But downtown business owner Mike Walraven said he's already paying enough.
"I have three pieces of property and I'm already getting taxed twice," Walraven said. "I have an urban maintenance tax and a county tax."
District 9 Commissioner Marion Williams said no one wants higher taxes, but he feels Augusta needs money to build.
"If you created a tourist town, such as took James Brown and lightened it up or Augusta National, we have to have things to bring people in," Williams said. "If you attract people and see what a nice city this is, business will develop."
But Walraven isn't buying it and said higher taxes are going to chase business owners away.
"I know a lot of people who will be upset with that and will be trying to sell their property to get out," Walraven said.
The millage rate will now be submitted to the Georgia Department of Revenue.