Bibb commissioners are looking at raising property taxes to prevent a projected $16 million budget deficit.
Assistant County Manager, Julie Moore, told commissioners Tuesday that it is an issue the whole country is facing.
“If you have seen the ABC National News where they pointed out that every municipality in the nation is struggling with a property tax increase,” says Moore.
But is that statement true? While we cannot verify every municipality in the country, we can look here in Central Georgia, so we talked to commissioners in Jones, Monroe, Baldwin. Houston, Peach and Laurens counties to find out, if they intend to raise property taxes next fiscal year.
In Baldwin County, Commissioner Emily Davis says they are not planning to raise property taxes. She says it is still early on for them, but she does not see it going up.
Then in Jones County, Commissioner Sam Kitchens says they have not discussed any kind of property tax increase. If anything, he says they would just tighten up their budget.
In Monroe County, Chairman Greg Tapley says they do not have a property tax increase. If anything, he says he is going to work to lower their millage rate.
Peach County's Commission Chairman, Martin Moseley, says it is still very early on in their budget process, but he does not foresee an increase.
On Tuesday, we spoke with Houston County Commission Chairman, Tommy Stalnaker. He said their 2019 proposed budget does not include a millage rate increase.
Laurens County Administrator, Bryan Rogers, says they also are not expecting to raise property taxes.
So we verified that no, in central Georgia, property tax increases are not a trend. The only county we talked to that plans to raise them is Bibb.
We also spoke to Nick Warner, a research associate at Georgia State University, who studies these trends. Even though it may not be the case in Central Georgia, he says across the state he is finding a pattern of assessed values and property taxes going up.