If you have ever been interested in how the City/County of Macon-Bibb spends your tax money, you can read about it all online on the Macon-Bibb public website. The proposed 2018 budget seeks to spend $148 million on county programs, operations and debt service. This figure is up about $4 million from the adjusted FY 2017 and up $2 million from actual FY 2016.
The largest line items for increases in expenditures for FY 2018 are for the sheriff’s office, fire department, information technology and facilities management, amounting to a combined total of $3.7 of the $4 million increase. Most of the increase for facilities management comes in increases in water and electricity. IT software licensing is set to increase $600 thousand and would be offset by $300 thousand less in expenditures on office equipment. Increases in the sheriff’s office are in a number of areas, but the bulk of the increase in proposed spending in patrol officer salaries, either by an increase in salaries or more officers on patrol. For the fire department, the increase is a result of proposed increases in benefits and pensions as well as salaries.
These expenditures are against a matching projected revenue of $148 million for the year. This projection is up over $10 million and $11 million from FYs 2016 and 2017 respectively. The difference in projected revenue is mainly as a result of a $11 million increase in property taxes from $55 million in the current FY to a projected $66 million for the next FY. On a percentage basis, that is a 20% increase in taxes paid by property owners in Bibb County. Most other revenue line items remain basically unchanged, save for a $400 thousand drop in liquor licenses revenue matched by a $500 thousand increase in general business licenses revenue. To put the increase into perspective, a property owner with a $2,000 per year property tax bill could expect to pay $400 more per year to make up for the increase in revenue.
The Macon-Bibb Board of Commissioners will still have to approve the budget, including any property tax increase. If there is a property tax increase, the Commission will hold public hearings to discuss the proposal and allow public comment.
To read the budget yourself, download it online at http://www.maconbibb.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Proposed-FY18-Budget.pdf.