Monday night the Porterdale City Council made a difficult but necessary decision to include a possible millage rate increase in order to balance the town’s FY2010 budget.
No elected official wants to unfairly or recklessly tax the residents of their municipality, but this decision was neither of those things.
The decision to include a possible millage rate increase actually shields residents from cuts to the services the city provides. Porterdale is already operating with a bare bones staff and any further pay cuts, furloughs or layoffs would not only seriously injure employee morale, but also prevent the city from offering the essential services its residents have come to enjoy.
The council also showed that they understand the tough financial times almost everyone is experiencing in this depressed economy by pursuing a city homestead tax exemption for primary homeowners. This is a wonderful show of goodwill and understanding and will encourage homeownership in a town that desperately needs a higher percentage of homeowners.
We hope this measure is taken seriously by our state representatives who must introduce it in the Georgia General Assembly for approval before it can be implemented.
Any resident who is unhappy with the possibility of a millage rate increase should either keep quiet or move. Ample notice of the budgeting process was advertising in this paper, in other papers and, we’re sure, by word of mouth, yet not one resident attended a public hearing to voice his concern or support for the rate increase.
We hope, though, that business and home sales increase in Porterdale so that the millage rate increase will not have to be as high as currently proposed.