Dougherty Co. tax increase could follow storm clean up

Dougherty Co. tax increase could follow storm clean up
County citizens could face a tax increase (Source:WALB)
Volunteers are still helping out (Source:WALB)
Volunteers are still helping out (Source:WALB)

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County victims caught in the direct path of January's deadly tornado, could now face a tax increase because of it.

The more than 12 million Dougherty County dollars used to assist storm victims may have costly, lingering effects on residents.

County Commissioner Anthony Jones said nothing is set in stone, but storm damage, lower local sales tax revenue and relief issues could put stress on the county budget.

"The county is there for them. We're not going to leave them," Commissioner Anthony Jones said. "We're there for them and we just want them to ask questions. So, they'll know."

Communication in that relationship has become very important after two storms left parts of Dougherty County devastated. 

Some residents are still in need of help and the county has some answers. 

Workers are doing what they can to clear debris from the right of way until early August and employees have set up a waiver program through Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful to help residents clear their properties.   

But like any budget, resources aren't unlimited. Some programs depend on FEMA money and others completely on donations.

So, Commissioner Anthony Jones said a tax increase could be on the table.

"We haven't made it clear that we're going to, but what we wanted to do was to make them aware in case the numbers don't work out. We just want our folks to know ahead of time."

A notice of about a year in advance. Jones said he wanted to do that to give residents a chance to understand the issue and gain their support.

You can learn more about how to get your county property cleared by contacting the Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful program.

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