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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb commissioners voted on the 2020 budget. It doesn’t include a millage rate increase or pay raises to any county employee.
Commissioners said they promised citizens they wouldn’t raise taxes three years in a row, and they’re sticking to the promise in the approved $164.5-million budget.
Two commissioners say, the budget didn’t address all needs.
“Trying to work out a situation where we can give not bonuses cause it’s illegal to give bonuses but to give funds to our deputies, to our firefighters, and to all employees that would happen in December,” Commissioner Joe Allen said.
With no raise in taxes for residents, means no pay raises for public safety and county employees.
“the mere fact that they took this long to even discuss it means that it is an important initiative. It is an important factor and certainly we’ll be back next year,” Sheriff David Davis said.
This year, the county is conducting surveys to evaluate employees to determine what they should be getting paid. Mayor Robert Reichert said the surveys will determine how much employees should get paid, so next year they can discuss raises.
Sheriff Davis said he’s encouraging his deputies to remain optimistic.
“Keep doing the good work you’re doing. Know that there are people like myself and even people on the commission that are fighting for you and we are not going to give up,” Sheriff Davis said.
Commissioners also discussed how the 1% hotel-motel tax increase will be spent. The $600,000 from the tax increase is going towards the Museum of Arts and Science, The Tubman Museum, the Arts Alliance, and Community Enhancement Authority.
All of which are already getting money from the general fund budget.
Commissioner Valerie Wynn says she’s not happy with the decision.
“Why should they get a bonus out of the other outside agencies?” Wynn asked.
Although commissioners didn’t vote on a millage rate increase, the tax digest from the Tax Assessor’s Office can either increase or rollback the millage rate. The digest will be released in August.