Lee budget has a BIG boo-boo - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee budget has a BIG boo-boo

 May 22, 2006

Leesburg -- The people who live in Southwest Georgia's fastest growing county have tough tax questions for their commissioners.

 As new Tax assessment notices go out in Lee County, many property owners will see huge increases, some more than 150 percent.   On top of that county leaders now admit they made a $1.5 million mistake in the upcoming year's proposed budget that will force them to make major cuts.  

County Commission Chairman Jackie Sizemore confirms an accounting mistake was found over the weekend. He says Commissioners are working to correct it.  

The County Finance Director added an $860,000 loan for sewer lines on U.S. 82 twice to the revenue side of the proposed budget. The Finance Committee, made up of Commissioners Wally Roberts and Morris Leverette, did not catch the error until after they thought the proposed budget was completed .

Sizemore says commissioners will have to redraw the budget, but he says there will be no tax increase.   Lee County Commission Chairman Jackie Sizemore said "The brunt of that storm is going to fall on county employees. In what way? They have raises and extra employees and things in their budget that they need. This is going to set us back. "

The initial proposed budget $605,000 for 20 new employees,  including seven firefighters and one Sheriff's Deputy. Sizemore said he doubts any of those new jobs will be possible as they re-work the budget.

Finance Director Darlo Maxwell and Finance Committee member Wally Roberts refused to talk with us about the accounting mistake.

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