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Residents oppose tax hike
People speak out against county's spending plan
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Bryan County residents packed two public hearings Monday reagarding a proposed 1.5 mill tax hike by the Bryan County Board of Commissioners. While some argued for a smaller increase or asked the county to find alternate ways to fund services, most were opposed to the increase. - photo by Jeff Whitten

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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