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Bibb County Commissioners Warn of 2011 Tax Increase | News

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Bibb County Commissioners Warn of 2011 Tax Increase
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Bibb County commissioners say taxpayers could face a possible tax increase next year.

In a budget work session this morning, commissioners said the county may be looking at a $10 million deficit in the 2012 budget year, which begins next July 1.

"It's gonna be in excess of a 10 million dollar shortfall in revenue for our FY 2012 budget," said Commissioner Elmo Richardson. He says that's due, in part, to fewer tax revenue dollars coming into the county, as well as a projected decrease in the tax digest.

"I don't want a tax increase anymore than anybody else does, but the bottom line is you've got to stand up be counted when it's something that has to be done, and it appears that we're going to have to put a two mill tax increase on next year," said Commissioner Joe Allen.

Some commissioners said a tax increase may be inevitable, but commissioner Lonzy Edwards said he's not convinced that the county has done enough cutting.

A 2-mill tax hike would cost owner of a $100,000 home about $80.

Commissioners did not set the size of the possible increase, but Elmo Richardson said a 2-mill increase would raise about $9 million.

The commissioners discussed services they must provide by law, those they don't have to fund, and things they have already committed themselves to support.

Edwards suggested the county look at holding some town hall meetings to allow tax-payers to speak out about what services they think the county should provide.

"I think we ought to make sure we include, in whatever decision we make, what taxpayers really believe will serve their needs and interests," said Edwards.

Commission Chairman Sam Hart says the board will hold budget work sessions once a month for the rest of the year. After that he says they'll decide if they should meet more frequently.

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