City DopeNews

ACC Budget, Property Tax Rate Will Be Finalized Thursday

The commission is also scheduled to vote on ACC’s approximately $287 million budget on June 7, but commissioners were unable to finalize it at a May 19 work session and will meet again Thursday, May 26.

Commissioners still have not settled on a potential property tax cut—Girtz has proposed reducing the millage rate by half a mill, but with property values soaring, some commissioners want more. Girtz said it’s likely that the commission-approved budget will include a tax cut of 0.7 mills, funded by $500,000 in reserves, as well as trimming the budget for capital projects and putting off a Leisure Services master plan for a year or using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay for it.  

“It seems clear that commissioners have coalesced around a vast majority of the budget,” Girtz said, including pay raises for ACC employees. The commission also agreed to fund the Athens Regional Library’s full request for pay raises, bringing library staff up to a minimum of $15 an hour. About 20 library employees and supporters came to a May 17 public hearing to tell commissioners that, while staffers love working at the library, turnover is high because it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to pay their bills.