Politics & Government

Peach commission OKs 1-mill tax increase

FORT VALLEY -- Peach County commissioners unanimously approved a 1-mill property tax increase, though not without some discussion Thursday.

The vote raises the tax rate by 7.38 percent. A home with a fair-market value of $100,000 would see an increase of about $38 per year, the county has said.

Commissioner Walter Smith asked how long the tax increase would last.

“Until this board or the next board lowers it again,” Commission Chairman Melvin Walker said.

County Administrator Marcia Johnson answered Smith’s other questions, saying the increase would raise about $664,000, money used to balance the budget. Some 40 percent of the increase will be used to pay for post-closure costs at county landfills, she said.

Commissioners earlier told The Telegraph that the county’s costs for things like fuel and health care had been increasing, while revenues stayed flat. That caused the county to balance the budget by taking from its financial reserves. The tax increase is intended to cover the shortfall, they said.

The county has taken about $1.4 million from reserves in the last three years alone.

County commissioners also voted unanimously Thursday to approve the county’s budget, with general fund revenues of about $16.5 million.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.