• Tue. Sep 20th, 2022

Commission remains at odds over mileage rate

ByChad J. Johnson

Aug 25, 2022

AUGUSTA, Georgia (WJBF) — The Augusta commissioners must approve a mileage rate, but some compromises are necessary.

“Do I have to be the one who always gives up, we just have to come to a conclusion and sometimes we have to eat a little crow, but if I have to eat crow, everyone will have to eat crow,” commissioner Dennis Williams said. .

At their last meeting, when the commissioners did not approve the tax rate and were informed that the city was now considering obtaining a loan if needed.

“The tax anticipation notes are already in the plan in case a motion doesn’t pass as it is today,” said acting city administrator Takiyah Douse.

Finance officials say the fire department needs more than $14 million in equipment, so some commissioners have offered a compromise; raise the fire tax only, about $30 more for an average home.

“We need the fire department, and that comes down to what we need as a progressively growing city, we want a new fire station, we have to provide it, and that costs money,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.

So what’s wrong with a small tax increase to help the fires?

“What’s wrong with that, what’s wrong with any tax increase?” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett.

“I will stand firm and stand behind a full rollback, we must do what is right for the citizens,” Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight said.

“I’m determined not to lower the tax, we’ve been doing it for seven or eight years, so there comes a time when you have to pay the piper,” Commissioner Williams said.

The commissioners need to come to an agreement, but it seems neither side is in the mood to compromise.