T'ville budget almost final - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

T'ville budget almost final

December 15, 2005

Thomasville, Georgia--  Thomasville's budget is just days away from being adopted.  It has increased significantly, but taxpayers may not foot the bill.

City Manager, Steve Sykes, is finalizing Thomasville's operating budget for 2006.  "The City of Thomasville will require about seven to eight million dollars more this next year," says Sykes.

A 96 million dollar budget versus this year's 88 million dollar budget, fueled by growth and rising energy costs.  "The police and the fire are two of the largest budgets that the city has," says Sykes.

Thomasville's police department has about 70 employees and costs about five million dollars to operate each year. The fire department has 43 employees and costs about two and a half million dollars to operate annually.  "The good news is the taxes will not be going up," says Sykes.

Ok, you may be asking how Thomasville can afford an eight million dollar budget increase without raising taxes. It's actually pretty simple.  "What we have to do is make sure we're generating enough revenue from our enterprise funds, whether it's water or sewer or electricity or natural gas or cable television. We have to be profitable so we can operate our whole general government budget.  The profits stay in the community. We can reinvest those profits," says Sykes.

Now, there could be a five percent increase in water and gas rates. And there were budget cuts, although they're more along the lines of budget hold offs.  "We postponed investing in some capital trying to maintain our cost as low as we can," says Sykes.  That's a money saver taxpayers will appreciate when the budget's adopted next week on the 21st.

Thomasville has some of the lowest property taxes in our region. At three mills, people have to pay only about three dollars of taxes for every thousand dollars worth of property they own.

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