Bartow County residents, your property taxes are going up.
More than five years after the recession began, continued economic troubles necessitate the millage rate increase. The rate hike raises taxes for unincorporated areas by 1.95 mills, or 25.2 percent, and 1.92 mills for incorporated areas, or 21.2 percent.
County Administrator Peter Olson said when the recession hit, measures were instituted to cut costs.
“… The last four years, I think Mr. Brown did everything he could to cut costs. We reduced over 50, I think, personnel from the peak … Equipment purchases have been deferred, vehicle purchases have been deferred. Everybody’s been on furlough for in the fifth year now. No one’s had raises for five years now,” Olson said. “If it had been a short recession, I think that strategy could have worked, but given the length of this thing and the continued fall, especially of the sales tax — this year we are running down 7 percent behind where we were last year and last year we were down about 10 percent from two years ago.
“Some of that’s a reduction in sales tax Georgia Power is paying; some of it is a change, the elimination basically of sales tax on cars; some of it is due to agricultural tax exemptions …; some of that is the economy still.”
Now, there’s nothing left to cut.