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Commissioners propose property tax savings

Jason Born

Recent public hearings revealed community concerns about rising property taxes following the mayor’s proposal to maintain the current millage rate. Last night, commissioners offered two potential compromises.

District 6 Commissioner Jesse Houle proposed a millage rate decrease that would save taxpayers approximately $650,000. District 10 Commissioner Mike Hamby’s proposed rate, however, would save taxpayers about $6.5 million.

Along with property value, the millage rate is a main factor affecting how much in taxes homeowners pay.

“Why it’s in here is because of recognizing the fact that this is a cumulative effect of the years of property tax assessments going up, and recognizing that it’s incumbent on us, if the budget allows, and this budget does allow, to do something about it,” Hamby said.

While District 5 commissioner Dexter Fischer supported Hamby’s proposal, he pointed out that this would be the third year in a row the rate was lowered.

“I do want the public to understand though, with inflation and with everything going up, we are going to have to consider in the future, how sustainable this is going to be moving forward,” Fischer said.

As for other aspects of the budget, the two commissioners both allotted more funding to address road concerns and support the Athens Regional Library.

The commissioners may move forward with a compromise or continue to revise their budgets separately ahead of the June 6 vote.

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