Tax commissioner makes lofty promise to Columbus Council - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tax commissioner makes lofty promise to Columbus Council

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

If you think you have a hard time balancing a budget for your family, imagine doing it for the entire city.

Columbus Council members have spent the last four weeks discussing the Mayor's recommended FY 2013 budget as department heads pleaded their case for more money. 

Tuesday, Tax Commissioner Lula Huff made a lofty promise. "One dollar spent and I give you $72 back. You can't beat an investment like that. I'd take that any day. " 

Huff wants Council to approve two reclassifications of positions in her department, a total cost of $17,000. "I have this sum of money just sitting there waiting for me to go pick it up. And, it is a total of about $7.6 to 8 million in delinquent taxes and I can't get that money fast enough."

Huff says the extra help is even more important after the Georgia Legislature passed House Bill 386, a tax bill introduced this March that means her office will run two systems in the coming year.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said she thinks Huff made a good presentation. "It literally showed if you invest this, it will return this. I expect council to probably look favorably on her request."

The District Attorney is asking Council for the ability to hire a new Assistant District Attorney, Investigator and local clerk. She tells News Leader 9 that her staff is stretched too thin. "They are working weekends, evenings, they are working from home. They are doing everything they can but it has come down to we need additional personnel or we need more hours in the day."

Each Assistant DA has 250 new cases each year that they are expected to prosecute. District Attorney Slater says the increasing number of cases stems partially from the extra Columbus Police officers on the street.

Council will meet this Thursday at 9 a.m. to go over the add/delete list. It is a time for them to ask questions and finalize the budget.

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