Bibb County property owners could see an even bigger property tax increase this year than they did last year. This comes after Mayor Robert Reichert presented his budget for next year which includes a 3.7 millage rate increase.
But if they do not make these changes, they could drain their savings in just a few months.
Dozens of people lined the rows of the Government Center on Tuesday to hear what changes Reichert wants to make to next year’s budget. One of those people was homeowner Stuart Griffin.
“The government is bleeding us dry,” says Griffin.
Griffin says enough is enough.
“You cannot just keep taxing the people into oblivion,” says Griffin.
But with only $4 million left in their savings, Reichert says they have to make these changes.
“That is unacceptable,” says Reichert.
But Reichert says the property tax increase is not enough. He says next year, they are projected to have a $10 million shortfall. A 3.7 millage rate increase would generate just over $4 million, so he says they need to make additional cuts.
“Three furlough days for our employees,” says Reichert.
He says he also wants to reduce funding to outside agencies and county pension and health care plans.
But no matter what changes the mayor makes, Griffin says it is hard to believe any of them will fix the problem.
“Sat up here and told us consolidated government was going to streamline everything, it was going to be cheaper,” says Griffin.
Griffin says since consolidation, everything has gotten worse.
“It did what its purpose was to do. It came after the money in the county because they bled the city dry,” says Griffin.
Six commissioners need to vote in favor of the budget for it to pass, but they have until June 30th to approve the budget.
The county will hold several budget hearings for the public leading up to the commission’s vote. They have not yet set those dates.