As a society, we understand the need for things like taxes, fees and other financial means through which governments and utilities get the funds they need to operate. We tend to push back when the money acquired from those taxes and fees is used irresponsibly enough that it forces us to ask questions like why we have to pay such a high price for something nobody wants.
As we get closer to July, we have seen the Glynn County Commission, Brunswick City Commission and the Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission working to finalize their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.
The county commission approved its budget on Thursday with two new taxes. The county police department and EMS will draw the majority of their funding from these new taxes.
While that may seem like more money coming out of taxpayer’s pockets, that will not be the case for most county residents. The county is lowering its maintenance and operations tax rate to compensate for the increase. The county is also not increasing trash collection fees this year.
The city commission will hold a public hearing to talk about its budget for the next year at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Old City Hall. At a budget workshop prior to last week’s city commission meeting, the city said the millage rate will remain at 13.219, the fourth consecutive year without a change to the rate. The city’s sanitation service fee is also expected to stay the same when the budget is approved.
The JWSC set its rates and fees at its meeting Thursday. The utility left water and sewer rates the same while reducing some fees. The rate resolution also introduced new permitting and inspection fees, a $5,000 fee charged to developers for unsolicited proposals and a decrease in the service disconnection fee from $135 to $75.
The utility has made a concerted effort to help those having trouble paying their water bills. The new rate resolution offers customers a way to freeze late fees and to have past late fees forgiven starting July 1.
All three entities have done a good job of making sure the citizens aren’t losing a large chunk of their money to taxes and fees. Special option local only sales tax (SPLOST) initiatives have allowed for all three to tackle many of the infrastructure projects needed in Brunswick and Glynn County. It only make sense that all of them keep their normal taxes and fees the same since we are paying for infrastructure projects through SPLOST.
We appreciate all the work the city, county and utility staff do to not only calculate but keep rates at a manageable level for everyone in the county. We hope this continues going forward for years to come.