On Wednesday, March 31, the Georgia Assembly – both the House and Senate – approved House Bill 575. If signed into law by Governor Kemp and later approved by the voters of Macon-Bibb, an Other Local Option Sales Tax (OLOST) would add a penny on the dollar for purchases and help fund government services like public safety and emergency services, road repair, street cleanup, park maintenance and improvement, and more. It would also reduce property taxes collected for the consolidated government by an estimated 7 mills, or about one third.
“This would be the largest single property tax reduction in our community’s history,” Mayor Miller told the media and this year’s Leadership Macon class who was visiting Government Center at the time.
Mayor Lester Miller – flanked by several Commissioners and public safety representatives – held a news conference to public thank the Legislative Delegation for working together with the local team to get the Bill drafted and approved. He also thanked the Commission for making this the only request of the Delegation by a 9-0 vote earlier in the year, recognizing how very important it is for the community’s future.
“The OLOST will generate millions in revenue for our general fund -and, because of our geography, we know that more than 70% of it will come from people who live outside of our county,” Mayor Miller added. “It will provide much needed funding for public safety infrastructure and even to begin planning for the second phase of our payscale to ensure we can retain deputies, firefighters, and other first responders.”
The Mayor also pointed out the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, and other organizations support this effort because of the benefit it will bring to the business community. Lower property taxes mean businesses and industries would pay less to locate here, and employees would be more inclined to live here.
“This will give us a more competitive edge in attracting people and businesses to live here because we will have one of the lowest property taxes in the region,” added Mayor Miller. “This was a team effort with significant and long-reaching implications. We each worked hard on this every single day for many, many weeks, and I am able to stand here before you to thank each of them for that dedication and work.”