The Bibb County Commission met Thursday to tentatively approve a 3-mill tax increase that will be up for a final vote on August 16th.
One of the themes commissioners kept referring to was compromise -- compromise so they could pass a budget without needing another extension and before agencies like the libraries and public transportation run out of money.
Commissioner Bert Bivins rarely talks during meetings, but this time, he asked the other commissioners to compromise.
“We can’t afford the blame, we got a situation that we have to deal with. I’ve gone from voting for nothing to going to something that we can make work," said Bivins.
Commissioners Bivins, Virgil Watkins, Al Tillman, Joe Allen, and Elaine Lucas voted to change the millage rate to 3 mills.
“We want to be able to fund transit and keep the libraries open. We’re able to fund those agencies that are vital to our community,” said Tillman.
Al Tillman says before the commissioners pass the tax increase next week, they will look closely at funding for outside agencies, and Elaine Lucas agrees.
“If there are places that need cuts, we will make cuts, but not huge cuts,” said Lucas.
Valerie Wynn, Mallory Jones, Larry Schlesinger and Scotty Shepherd all voted no to the 3 mill increase.
“Use common sense, good sense, business sense and cut funding to those outside agencies,” said Wynn.
Valerie Wynn and Mallory Jones favored a 2.76 millage rate increase and warned if the tax increase goes higher, people would look at moving to other counties.
“If you continue to shrink this tax base, then you won’t need these agencies,” said Jones.
The final vote on the millage rate is scheduled for August 16th at 3 p.m. The millage increase needs 5 votes to pass.
According to Bibb Tax Commissioner Wade McCord, September 1st is the state deadline to notify them of a tax increase. He says he can ask for an exceptions, but would need to know by the end of August.