ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Citizens pleaded with Dougherty County Commissioners not to increase the tax millage rate on home and property owners. But the County did vote to increase the rate, which will go in to effect this year.
The County says this is necessary to help the county. But residents are saying look for the money elsewhere.
"Please give us a chance… Think about the residents of this city." Lula Davis, a real estate broker, along with another concerned resident didn't want the county to increase the millage rate on taxes in Dougherty County.
But unfortunately the commissioners voted to increase it anyway. "It's not a terrible burden on the property owners," said Lamar Hudgins, District 1 Commissioner.
But Davis seems to think differently than Commissioner David Hudgins, who says that the price tag will cost about $2.30 to a $100,000 property.
"When you increase taxes that will impact the homeowner and the investor," Davis said. Davis said it will especially impact renters living in Albany as well. "When taxes go up, the land lord passes that on to the tenants, so the rent goes up.
Davis says that this will hurt the real estate market in Albany who has been hurting for the past seven plus years. "Albany cannot afford an increase in rent an increase in taxes, because we're trying to build an industry, trying to bring industry," Davis said.
But Commissioner Hudgins says this is necessary in order to help better serve residents in the county. "Which will produce about $1.4 million, which will sustain a pay increase for employees, which they haven't had in seven years."
Davis says that the city will also be able to provide more ambulances for the county and keep EMS employees which he claims the county was losing to other counties. "I wish that the commissioner could find some other way to get this revenue," said Davis.
"We could take it out of reserves but it wouldn't be sustainable," said Hudgins.
Hudgins said even if they took it out of the reserves they would still increase taxes within the next year or two.