City of Columbus raises taxes

September 16, 2010 10:31:00 AM

Kristin Mamrack -


The Columbus City Council Wednesday approved a fiscal year 2011 budget, which includes a 0.86 millage increase. 


The budget approved by the council reflects expenditures of $26.9 million and expected revenue of $26.72 million, with the city taking $191,282.80 from its cash reserves -- estimated at between $1.9 million and $2.3 million when the current fiscal year ends Sept. 30 -- to cover the anticipated deficit. 


The council Wednesday approved a $1.18 million appropriations budget and set the total millage for the city and city school district at 100.6 mills, including $37.63 mills for the city and 62.97 mills for the Columbus Municipal School District. 


A mill in the city is worth $173,000, down from a fiscal year 2010 valuation of $179,000. 


A mill in the CMSD is worth $208,000. 


Of the 0.86 millage increase, 0.36 mils is to finance a $3.8 million general obligation bond issue and the remainder is for a disability fund for fire and police personnel. 


The increase adds about $8.60 a year in taxes on a $100,000 home. 


A homeowner inside the city will pay $1,084.60 in city taxes on a $100,000 home and a homeowner in the county will pay $561.20 in county taxes on a $100,000 home, estimated Lowndes County Tax Assessor/Collector Greg Andrews. 


The council voted 4 to 1 to approve the budget and appropriations budget; Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem was absent from the meeting and Vice Mayor and Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin voted in opposition. 


"I just felt there were more items in there we could''ve cut," Gavin said after the meeting, referring to the appropriations budget. "These are real tough times for people. I know they''re all deserving agencies, but we just don''t have the money. I felt like we cut all the departments as much as we could and the next thing to cut was appropriations. We could''ve cut more money. While they''re deserving, it''s just hard times."