Lee Commission: No tax increase or furloughs - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Commission: No tax increase or furloughs

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Lee County Commissioners have some tough budget decisions to make.

They'll spend the next three weeks trying to make up for a $3.6 million budget deficit without furloughs or tax increases. Commissioners started to slash items from the budget Wednesday at the first of nine hearings with department heads.

Lee County revenues are down one million dollars from a year ago, and departments have asked for a two-point-six million dollar increase over last years budget.

Commissioners were adamant Wednesday about not raising taxes.

"We've made a commitment to the taxpayers of lee County that we will not raise taxes this year, due to the challenging economy. It's going to be rough and its going to be tough but we're going to have to just do what's necessary to survive until this economy turns itself around," said Lee County Commission Chairman and Budget Committee member Ed Duffy.

The county is under a hiring freeze and likely won't fill 16 open positions but say additional personnel could be added to public safety. They say they'll work through the budget line by line, cutting what they can while trying to continue services people rely on.

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