Thomasville wants to lower taxes - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomasville wants to lower taxes

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) -  Thomasville city leaders voted this week to roll back the millage rate. They want to eventually get rid of the city property tax all together.

To make up for the lost revenue, they plan on focusing on growing their enterprise departments, and work on attracting new business.

Any business owner will tell you that times are tough.

So when people heard they will be getting a little relief on their taxes, they were thrilled, but also skeptical. Many said it's hard to imagine how the city is going to cut back, when the economy is so bad.

Linda Benton is the proud owner of 'Shapes and More,' a popular Thomasville toy store.

"This back to school season was quite rough," she said. A new school season usually feels more like Christmas. This year it felt more like her first year in business, and on top of that, "It's just tax, tax, tax!"

So when she heard about the city's decision to lower the millage rate, she was thrilled. "Anything lower would be good for the business owner as well as the customer. They'll have more money to spend, a domino effect."

The city council voted this week to lower the rate from 2.55 to 2.50 mils. "It's a tax decrease of $40,000."

But it gets better. "Our long term goal is to eliminate property tax all together," said City Manager Steve Sykes.

Thomasville's taxes are already lower than many surrounding cities. With Albany, Cairo, and Tifton's millage rates significantly higher. But with a down economy, many question how they will make up for the lost revenue.

Sykes says they'll focus on economic development by growing their enterprise departments, Electric, cable, and water to name only a few.

"They're going to buy those services somewhere, why not buy from your community and keep those dollars here," Sykes said.

Linda Benton says, that sounds good to her. City manager Steve Sykes says if they didn't have their enterprise services-- CNS cable, sanitation, etc., the millage rate would have to be as high as 11 mils.

The city plans to eliminate the property tax in four years.

      • Click HERE for more information on how taxes are calculated

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