Bibb commissioners approved going back to quarterly garbage bills. People in Macon will continue paying garbage bills four times a year even though commissioners voted to make it an annual payment in March.
In a five to four vote Tuesday, commissioners approved an ordinance to repeal their vote from March and take solid waste fees off of people's yearly property tax bills.
Several people spoke up in favor of making the bill quarterly again, one of those was Martin Bell.
Bell says placing an entire garbage bill on top of a property tax bill that could go up three mills could be a big financial burden on homeowners.
“If this keeps going like it is, you’re kicking the middle class in the teeth. The economy is terrible right now and if anybody wants to raise your hand and say, ‘We've got a great economy and these people are rolling in money,’ I want to see your hand,” says Bell.
Commissioner Mallory Jones says he introduced the ordinance so that people would not have to pay two large bills at once.
“It’s a very punitive policy that penalizes the 82% who do the right thing and pay their bill,” says Jones.
Darren Latch says he agrees with Jones.
Latch says like an annual garbage bill, increasing property taxes will hurt homeowners in the community.
“We have not had anything near what we were promised through consolidation, and now they’re pushing through for 21 and 3/4 percent increase on services we're struggling to get right now and people are struggling to pay for their homes and for their family,” says Latch.
Both Latch and Jones say an annual garbage bill on top of raising property taxes three mills could lead to more people moving away from Macon.
The county will hold a final public hearing on the property tax increase Friday at 6 p.m. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the change following the hearing.
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