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Residents oppose tax hike

People speak out against county's spending plan

POSTED: August 7, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Jeff Whitten/

Gib Robinson was one of a number of residents who spoke out against the proposed millage rate increase and asked for user fees for things such as recreation. Some residents appeared to agree with the county's argument the increase was necessary, but most were against the 1.5 mill hike. Many asked why the county didn't use assess impact fees.

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Bryan County residents gave County Board of Commissioners an earful and then some Monday during public hearings on a proposed 1.5 mill tax increase.
Residents filled meeting rooms in both Pembroke in the morning and Richmond Hill that evening, and many voiced opposition to the proposed increase despite claims from county officials that it’s needed to address a $1.65 million budget shortfall.
Officials say the deficit wouldn’t have been created had it not been for the county’s adoption several years ago of what Chairman Jimmy Burnsed called the most generous homestead exemption in Georgia. Commissioners proposed and voters approved the measure in 2007 that allows seniors 65 and older a $50,000 homestead exemption and everyone else a $35,000 exemption.
“As I’ve said several times, we wouldn’t have to do the tax increase if we hadn’t done a tax cut six years ago,” he said after Monday morning’s public hearing in Pembroke.

Read full story in Aug. 7 issue of the Bryan County News.

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