During last year's battle to set a balanced budget, Mallory Jones voted against a millage rate increase. He says the budget didn't go far enough, they needed to make pension changes. 

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After weeks of delays, debates, and shutdowns of some county services, the county finally passed a 3 millage rate increase, equal to $120 on a $100,000 home.

Jones says he was unhappy passing a property tax increase and not changes to county employees' retirement plans.

"We didn't take enough heroic steps to ensure our financial future," said Jones. 

This year, Commissioner Joe Allen says he's asked the healthcare and retirement committee to present a 401K and 457 option for new hires.

Allen says he won't vote for another tax increase, and he's hoping reducing the cost of county retirement plans will be the answer.

Commissioner Valerie Wynn says the mayor's office is telling commissioners they won't need to increase property taxes.

"I know we're better than we were last year and probably won't have the heated discussion we did last year," said Wynn. 

She says still pushing cuts to outside agencies, no millage rate increase, and possibility for more funding for the sheriff's office to hire more deputies.

"Crime and violence is what this community says is our number one concern," said Wynn. 

Commissioners will start to balance their budget in June and outside agencies that received cuts last year will be discussed. 

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"What I hope is that these outside agencies will set up a foundation to start raising money now, so we don't have to do this again," said Jones last year. 

Outside agencies like Macon Transit received substantial cuts and since then Craig Ross, Macon Transit's director, says their ridership has suffered. He says many of the other outside agencies that were cut are suffering as well. 

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Julie Moore, assistant to the county manager for Macon-Bibb, also says changes to county employee's healthcare plans will lead to big savings this year. She says she won't have an accurate estimate for that until May.

She also says the county collected almost $2 million more in sales taxes this year than projected.