People who live in Bibb County could see property taxes go up as much as five mills next year.
When it came time to discuss Bibb County's upcoming budget, Mayor Robert Reichert warned commissioners of the challenges they would face.
“This budget year coming up is going to be a very difficult one,” said Reichert.
He says they are heading towards a projected $10 million deficit on top of a general fund that is just $7 million away from being depleted.
“Roughly speaking, we're either going to have to raise revenue or make some pretty unpopular cuts,” said Reichert.
What commissioners did not know is just how much revenue the county needs.
“What we're suggesting is a five mill increase,” said Bibb County’s financial advisor, Matthew Arrington.
Arrington says they have to either raise property taxes by 5 mills or make dramatic cuts like using furloughs.
He says one day of operations costs the county about $400,000.
Commissioner Virgil Watkins says he thinks there are other ways to cut back, like consolidating departments.
“Public works clearly needs people, same with the landfill. I think there’s a way they could even be more efficient and enjoyable. They do a lot of equipment sharing now within those departments because their functions are very similar,” said Watkins.
Watkins says the city of Valdosta did something similar to this and saw great benefits.
He says he knows the county will have to raise property taxes, but he says changes like this could prevent the county from increasing taxes at such an aggressive rate.
Commissioners are scheduled to look at these changes at their next committee meeting in two weeks.
A five mill increase would cost the owner of a $100,000 home up to an additional $200, and the owner of a $200,000 home up to an additional $400.