All five Twiggs County commissioners voted in favor of raising the county's millage rate 3 mills at a public meeting Thursday night.

The tax increase will raise from 16.6 mills to 19.6 mills and commissioners expect this tax increase to bring in an extra $750,000 to the county.

The county is in a $2 million deficit, and Chairman Kenneth Fowler says that the deficit didn't just pop up overnight -- it was a growing problem for more than 15 years.

Fowler also said that the county would not be able to make September's payroll without the increase.

Chris Hutchings, the interim County Administrator, says they have plans to get the county out of debt.

"The goal is to build some reserves, be able to borrow less than $2 million next year," says Hutchings. "We're looking at four years of trying to come out of this entire cycle of borrowing and having to pay back."

Emotions ran high on Thursday night's board meeting. The meeting room was filled with around 50 people, and many voiced their opinion.

"If you want to get your house in order, you're going to have to look at the budgets and quit putting the burden on the backs of the taxpayers of this county," says Walter Fountain.

Commissioner Lonnie Ford says that this tax increase will impact nearly everyone, including him.

"That's what we're trying to do -- get our house in order. We can't keep operating like we're doing," said Ford.

However, after the vote, some people left the meeting not excited about the future.

"I understand that you are trying, but a drowning man is going to grasp at anything he can, and I honestly think you're drowning and you're taking us with you," said Twiggs County resident, David Allen.

The county has to pay back the $2 million loan by December 31st.