Dougherty County budget proposed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County budget proposed

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June 5, 2006

Albany - Dougherty County property owners likely will pay lower taxes even though employees will get higher pay.  On Monday, the finance committee presented the proposed budget to the commission. For the first time in years, it allows for merit raises.  

It doesn't take much to see that the cost of living is on the rise, just look at gas prices. That's why commissioners feel that Dougherty County employees deserve a Cost of living raise. "Of course, the main concern was being sure we were able to give our employees increase in salary, which we have included 2.5% Cost of living, for each and every employee," says Finance Chairman Lamar Hudgins.  And for each and every employee that meets the requirements, they'll receive another raise.  He says, "2.5% merit increases, and that was very important."

And the finance committee was able to provide the money without raising property taxes.  The millage rate actually went down.  Hudgins says, "A tax cut is a tax cut, but it means we're still being prudent, and trying to be sure our citizens get the most for their tax dollars." And are protected. Six new public safety positions are included, one each for the Sheriff's office, juvenile court and public defender's office. The budget will also pay for a child felony prosecution team, once paid for by Open Arms.  Hudgins says, "Dougherty County is not going to waiver on this prosecution of child offenders."

But the budget isn't final yet.  Commissioners can continue to make changes until it's adopted. Commissioners will vote to pass the budget at a regularly scheduled meeting June 26th

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