Mayor Lester Miller recommending 7.178 mill reduction
On Tuesday, August 15, the Commission unanimously approved Mayor Lester Miller’s recommendation to adopt a millage rate of 10.723, which is a reduction of 7.178 mills and greater than the originally announced 5 mill reduction. This is the third consecutive year the Mayor and Commission have reduced property taxes. In the three years, there has been a reduction of 9.608 mills.
“We promised to find a way for government to operate more efficiently and provide services in the areas that people said were the most important,” said Mayor Miller. “And while we’re reducing your property taxes, we are increasing funds for the areas and projects people said were most important to them.”
The rollback is possible thanks to the voters overwhelmingly supporting the Other Local Option Sales Tax (OLOST) and the increase in value of people’s property. The OLOST allowed for 5 mills, and the property value increase allowed for the additional 2.178 mills.
“People overwhelmingly supported the OLOST to help make sure the tens of thousands of people that drive into and through our city help pay for the services they use, and to provide property tax relief to people who live here. This is us fulfilling the promise of that support,” says Mayor Miller. “And now, with the increased value of our homes, we are rolling back the millage rate even more.”
Despite the reductions in the millage rate, Macon-Bibb has been able to increase funding for the projects and areas the community said were the most important.
“This community came out by the thousands to let us know what they expected of their government, of what they said was most important to them and their families,” added Mayor Miller. “Our team remains committed to making sure we are using these funds to tackle the issues – big or small – that our neighborhoods face.”
For example, in three years, funding for public safety has increased nearly $12 million, recreation and beautification have increased more than $3.5 million, economic development has increased more than $4 million, health & community services have increased nearly $2 million, and code enforcement has increased nearly $1 million.
“I have to thank our Budget and Finance teams for the work putting together this year’s budget, and for working so closely with our departments and partners to focus funding on our community’s top priorities,” says Mayor Miller.
During the original budget presentation, the Mayor made sure to celebrate the work done the past year as Team Macon-Bibb and thanked many of the community agencies and organizations that were involved. That included opening the new Fire Training Academy, having dozens of neighborhood cleanups as part of Clean Streets Matter, removing nearly 600 blighted and dangerous structure from our neighborhoods, more than $650 million in private investment, more than 1,100 jobs created or retained, and more.
“This has been a banner year for Macon-Bibb, from projects to economic development to neighborhood improvement to a stronger sense of community,” said Mayor Miller. “And that’s because this is always about us being a team. We have great partners, and we have great people working together.”
Included in this year’s budget is funding for:
- Annual public safety incentive pay;
- Increased road repair and pothole filling;
- Increased beautification efforts;
- Installing traffic calming measures and signage;
- The ongoing Blight Fight;
- The GBI’s new Crime Task Force offices in Downtown;
- Attracting new events to promote the city;
- Working with the economic development teams to bring in new industries and support existing ones;
- And more.