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Tax Hearings in Toombs
Wednesday, 04 November 2009

November 4--  Toombs County commissioners held two public hearings Wednesday regarding a possible one mil increase in county property taxes.

Thirteen people spoke up at the six p.m. hearing with most appealing for more cuts in county spending to make up for an estimated half-million dollar shortfall in next year's budget.  The group ranged from large and small  business owners to people living on fixed incomes.  The business people said they're having to cutback and believe the county should do likewise.

Retired school teacher Alice Mosley said the commissioners should reduce the number of paid holidays, look at furloughs and cut their own pay before increasing taxes.

"I think the commissioners should consider cutting their own salaries.  Those of us who are on Social Security aren't going to get a cost of living raise, so that's a cut.  Teachers are on a state contract and they're being furloughed.  And this last lady who spoke, that's what it's all about.  I can pay my taxes, I don't know about next year, but I feel for these people.  For her and her husband, they're on a fixed income and Social Security is all they have," she said.

Commission chairman Buddy West said a reduction of county paid holidays from eleven to seven is under consideration.  Each paid holiday cost the county $23,000, officials say.

Meanwhile, there's one more hearing before the commission votes on the tax increase and Chairman West says it's not a done deal yet.  "The final decision has not been made.  There are some other cuts that we're looking at.  We can go through the process to raise the millage rate by one mil, but no more.  it could be a half a mil or whatever, I don't know, the commissioners will make that decision on November 13th at four o'clock," he said.

A third public hearing will precede the vote on Friday the 13th at 3 p.m.

Stay tuned for an upcoming Newsbreak on how the county got where it is today financially.


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