Viewpoint: Keeping taxes low

Albany city commissioners once again balanced the budget for this fiscal year without furloughing city workers or increasing property taxes.

Keeping that trend going in the future won't be easy.

Over the next few years, the city will lose millions of dollars it's been getting from the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia. Thankfully, city leaders are being proactive and looking for new revenue streams that won't put the burden on average taxpayers.

Commissioners approved a new tax on car rentals and increased the hotel/motel tax, both of which will primarily impact visitors, not residents.

The commission also voted to phase in increases to alcohol license fees. While that will impact local restaurants, bars, and package stores, the fees were much lower than most large cities in Georgia. It was time for an increase.

City leaders continue to look for other new revenue streams. We applaud that effort, and we hope in the years to come they will also look closely at ways to cut spending to make sure the tax burden on property owners and average residents in Albany doesn't increase.

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