Posted: Tuesday, June 24th 2014 at 5:44am
Opponents speak their minds at Hall Co. budget hearing
By B.J. Williams Administrator
GAINESVILLE - As Hall County commissioners prepare to vote on a FY 2015 budget Thursday, they heard from a number of opponents to the plan at a second public hearing Monday afternoon.
The hearing took place at 3 p.m. at the Hall County Government Center prior to the commission's regularly-scheduled work session.
Property owners from various parts of the county took to the microphone to voice their displeasure over a tax increase that will come with the 2014-15 budget plan.
David Williams was one of several speakers, and he told commissioners he didn't understand the logic in a tax hike now. He reminded the commission of a time several years ago when commissioners refused to raise taxes even by small amount, even though it meant hurting county employees and residents.
"Services were cut...somewhere around 100 positions were lost...you cut parks out...you cut overtime out, $600,000...and we were just talking about an $11 tax increase at that time," said Williams.
Alicia Morris, who lives in northwest Hall County, told commissioners they needed to tighten their belts, just as they have advised residents to do over the past several years.
"Everything has gone up for everybody from gas to groceries...and y'all have told us 'tighten your belts, cut back, you can make it.' I'm asking you [to] tighten your belts, cut back and you can make it," said Morris.
When commissioners vote on the budget Thursday night, they have two options from which to choose to finalize the $90.6 million document. One option holds the property tax rate at 6.26 mills, while the second rolls the rate back to 5.98 mills; reassessments, primarily those of lake properties, mean taxes will still be higher for most property owners. Both options require using some money from the county's reserve fund.
Link: Link to proposed budget on the Hall County Government website
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