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Montgomery Commission Making Cuts to Avoid Tax Increase
Friday, 17 July 2009
July 17-- Montgomery County citizens are no longer looking at a property tax millage rate increase.

Earlier, County Commissioners believed a tax increase of 2 mils or more would be necessary to balance their 2010 budget. At public forums held Thursday, Commission Chairman Brandon Braddy announced the proposed 2010 budget will more than likely not raise taxes. To make up for the lost revenue, cuts will be implemented in various departments, including personnel reductions estimated at $70,000 each Commissioner will receive a one-month's salary deduction.

Chairman Braddy says no services for the county will be completely eliminated, but each department will take a set back in funding.

"In our first round of cuts, we identified things such as compiling of our financial statements for all departments. We found a contractor who would do that for $20,000 less a year. One big savings in regard to our health insurance is we are going to our employees to pay 25% of their health insurance benefit. We have paid all of that costs in the past, and this will create about a $52,000 savings. We went through each budget item in each department and tried to cut things that weren't needed. And like I said, a big item was the health insurance," explains Braddy.

Sterling Skinner of Ailey was at the forum. His major concerns are the increases in the budget for renovations to the courthouse and inmate housing.

"I saw that the increases came from a debt service on the courthouse renovation, but mainly from the inmate jail housing situation which ended up at about 60% in one year. The Commissioners gave me some idea that the $359,000 for the 2009 budget, they really spent more than that," says Skinner.

Ginger Morris of Mount Vernon is pleased there are no tax rate increases and is proud open government is being practiced.

"I really appreciate the Commissioners being open about the tight budget they have to work with, and the decreases in personnel and several areas overall to try and help us to get to the point where we have no millage increases. Overall, I was very pleased. First and foremost, because there is no millage increase. But secondly, because open government was practiced at its best tonight," says Morris.

The Commission will hold one final public hearing on July 23 before officially approving the 2010 budget.
 
PROPOSED 2010 BUDGET W/NO MILLAGE INCREASE
     
       
         
         
            Department 2,009 2,010 Increase /   
  Budget Budget (Decrease)  
Board of Commissioners 37,450 28,686 (8,764)  
Elections 39,066 56,927 17,861  
Financial Administration 189,313 171,096 (18,217)  
Debt Service for Real Estate 26,500 80,000 53,500  
Legal 9,000 8,000 (1,000)  
Tax Commissioner 113,169 104,087 (9,082)  
Tax Assessor 186,023 122,551 (63,472)  
Buildings & Grounds 104,603 82,932 (21,671)  
Superior Court 58,910 60,418 1,508  
Clerk of Court 143,947 140, 423 (3,524)  
Magistrate Court 77,504 73,822 (3,682)  
Probate Court 98,701 111,030 12,329  
Sheriffs Department 491,170 479,513 (11,657)  
Jail / Inmate Housing 359,980 543,885 183,905  
Rural Fire Protection 80,188 80,000 (188)  
EMS 120,500 200,400 79,900  
Coroner 11,464 9,133 (2,331)  
E911 -                           18,000 18,000  
Emergency Management 55,964 50,941 (5,023)  
Road Department 549,642 453,470 (96,172)  
Solid Waste 213,687 206,746 (6,941)  
Health Department 69,731 70,031 300  
Dept. of Family & Children Serv. Supplement 5,520 5,520 -  
Senior Citizens Center 48,988 48,265 (723)  
Transit 113,000 119,084 6,084  
Recreation 18,000        -- (18,000)  
Library 22,000 22,000 -  
County Extension Office 61,544 60,414 (1,130)  
Georgia Forestry Commission Supplement 4,850 4,850 -  
Development Authority 101,852 101,852 -  
Adult Literacy Center 8,000 7,615 (385)  
         
Total Budget 3,420,266 3,521,691 101,425  
Final Round of Budget Cuts (See Attachment)   (224,615) (224,615)  
Total Budget (Adjusted) 3,420,266 3,297,076 (123,190)  
         
Other Revenue (1,236,189) (974,780) 261,409  
Adjustments to Other Revenue (See Attachment)   (67,000) (67,000)  
Total of Other Revenues (Adjusted) (1,236,189) (1,041,780) 194,409  
         
Property Tax Need To Balance Budget 2,184,077 2,255,296 71,219  
 
 
   
                                    Summary of Adjustments
                                    No Millage Rate Increase
   
Final Round of Budget Cuts:  
Furloughs (15,000)
Personal Reductions (70,292)
Library Repairs & Maint. (3,000)
Jail (Reduction in Inmate Housing) (50,000)
Transit (Reduce to one van) (25,000)
Audit Expense Reduction (1,795)
Property & Casualty Ins. (5,000)
EMA (6,500)
Road Department (10,000)
Solid Waste (10,000)
County Extension Office (3,000)
Financial Administration (Contractor Change) (5,000)
Commissioners' Pay (2,208)
E911 Supplement to Toombs County (18,000)
Total Budget Cuts (224,615)
   
Adjustments to Other Revenue  
Economic Development  (15,000)
   Revenue from Road Dept  (22,000)
   Fees Fines & Forfeitures (30,000)
   
Total Other Revenue (Adjusted) (67,000)
 
 
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