Albany - Dougherty County leaders hear the grim news that balancing the budget will mean lost jobs, no employee raises, and a tax hike for homeowners. Wednesday, commissioners reviewed the $40,000,000 budget. They're likely going to raise property taxes, as much as two mils, to offset two years of no growth in the tax base.
Some commissioners blame a loss in tax revenue, in part, to state tax changes. "A lot of the problems relate to state mandates," said Commissioner Lamar Hudgins. "The way personal property is value has changed. And, the state purchased a big piece of property in the county that came off the tax digest. Those are the things that slowly catch up with us."
Dougherty County employees aren't getting cost of living raises yet again, and their health insurance costs are going up 5%. The county still has $8,000,000 in its reserves. But, commissioners are afraid that if they don't raise property taxes, the emergency fund will be drained in just a few years.
A two mil tax hike will mean an additional $80 a year in property taxes on a $100,000 home.