BLUE RIDGE, Ga – During the first public hearing concerning the proposed tax increase, Fannin County Commissioners explained the importance of providing quality of life for county employees.
The proposed tax increase would be 2.30 percent by maintaining the current millage rate of 3.862 mills and not accepting the rollback recommended by the state. In other words, a home with a fair market value of $200,000 would see a property tax increase of $6.96. For non-homestead property with a fair market value of $150,000, owners would experience an increase of $5.22.
Chairman Jamie Hensley explained, “In a time where it’s hard as the dickens to find employees, my focus then becomes to retention of employees that we have with the possibility of enticing more employees to come to work for us.”
By maintaining the current millage rate, Hensley believes 42 employees could earn a “livable wage.” The county has 194 full-time employees.
“As bad as it is to say, you can actually go to a fast-food restaurant and make more money than you can some of these employees make here now,” Hensley added.
Post Two Glenn Patterson commented on the growth of Fannin County and the necessity of keeping up infrastructure as well as services.
“It’s good to say we’re the lowest millage rate in the state. At some point in time, looking at the people, it’s making sure you can take care of the people,” Patterson said in agreement with Hensley.
Post One Johnny Scearce continued that he’s always been for employees because he has experience leading local government departments.
“They’re going to be more productive if you’re taking care of them,” Scearce added. “Now, we’re bringing up the pay for 42 people, that’s awesome. That’s a good thing we should be doing because not only do we take care of our citizens, we take care of our employees.”
He expanded that he’s not a “big tax person” but sometimes taxes are necessary to maintain a high quality of life in the community.
The only public comments were from individuals agreeing with the commissions on the need to take care of their employees.
The next public hearing concerning the proposed tax increase will be held on August 17th at 6:00 p.m. & August 24th at 5:30 p.m. in the Jury Assembly Room at the Fannin County Courthouse.