Macon-Bibb County commissioners could adopt a new budget this week that includes a property tax increase.
The nearly $150 million general fund budget, with a 3-mill hike, is scheduled for a final vote at Tuesday’s commission meeting. Since Mayor Robert Reichert presented a proposed budget May 9, Macon-Bibb has held a series of budget meetings and a public hearing.
Changes made in recent weeks to the fiscal 2018 budget include more staffing and a pay raise for firefighters.
Bibb County sheriff’s deputies also will receive a salary increase, which was part of the original budget proposal.
Reichert has said 2 mills of the tax increase would prevent the county from dipping further into the reserves. The other 1 mill will pay for additional costs for public safety, recreation and other services.
If approved Tuesday, Macon-Bibb’s millage rate would go to 17.652, which does not include the Bibb County school district rate. A home valued at about $100,000 would pay $99 more in property taxes this year, county officials have said.
It would be the first property tax increase in Macon-Bibb in five years, when property owners in then unincorporated Bibb County saw their taxes go up about 2.5 mills.
The County Commission eliminated the double taxation of former city of Macon residents in the current fiscal year.
The budget year runs from July 1-June 30, 2018.
Macon-Bibb officials could agree to play ball Tuesday.
The County Commission is expected to vote on a letter of intent for a summer collegiate baseball team to play at historic Luther Williams Field. The Coastal Plain League franchise’s owner SRO Partners would pay the county $50,000 to $55,000 annually to lease the stadium over 10 years.
The letter of intent resolution was approved 7-1 by the commission’s Committee of the Whole last week. Another resolution that will be voted on Tuesday would clear the way for the county to spend up to $2.5 million of special sales tax revenue for improvements to the Central City Park stadium.
Commissioners would still need to approve the parameters of the stadium upgrades before construction begins.
The goal is to have the stadium’s renovations ready by April 30, 2018. The inaugural season would start about June 1, team co-owner Steve DeLay said last week.
“That will give us a couple of weeks to get everything ready and laid out,” he told commissioners. “That’s a pretty tight timeline. We’ll be moving pretty quickly.”
The Coastal Plain League, established in 1997, has 15 franchises across the Southeast.
In other business Tuesday, commissioners will vote on:
▪ A $2.23 million construction agreement with Warren Associates Inc. to build a new senior citizens center in Central City Park. The funding will come from 2012 special purpose local option sales tax proceeds and the sale of the current senior center property.
▪ Using $750,000 of 2017 SPLOST bond funds for a new multipurpose sports complex that would be built at Hartley Elementary School.
▪ A $2.9 million move to purchase equipment and to hire an engineer in preparation for the closure of the main landfill. The funding would come from SPLOST bond funds.
▪ A $1 million agreement with contractor Sam Hall and Sons for an extension to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail. The county would use SPLOST bond funds and a grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation, according to the resolution.