Mayor Tomlinson gives closer look at 2018 city budget

Columbus mayor discusses 2018 budget proposal
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)
(Source: Parker Branton/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A new budget is on the table for the city of Columbus. Mayor Teresa Tomlinson's recommendations to city council show leaders may have to change the cost of city services in 2018.

"As the nation continues to grapple with online purchasing people going online to buy clothes when they use to go to their local stores," says Tomlinson.

Mayor Tomlinson says a decrease in sales tax revenue is part of the reason the city budget calls for a change.

"Our fees have been low for quite some period of time-related to those we have not had regular increase," says Tomlinson.

The proposed budget outlines a $200 increase in ambulance fees and $25 increase with business licenses projecting this will generate almost $1 million in revenue.

Another is a $6 increase in after school programs that the mayor notes is still cheaper than other services being provided.

"Now it would be 27 plus the 62 and it goes up to people making over $60,000, but this is much less than the school district," the mayor says.

Tomlinson also addresses the known issue of under-staffing with public safety by saying it's difficult to compete when the private-sector is doing well. although she says the city works to make sure public employees.

"Last year we were able to give a two percent cost of living bonus so we do try to adjust pay as we go but as your revenue is declining as we talked about a minute ago it's hard to have the revenue to do that when you have almost three thousand employees when you include your part time employees," says Tomlinson.

Mayor Tomlinson says this budget took months to prepare and isn't done yet. Council members will meet to see what, if any adjustments, need to be made.

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