Columbus City Council addresses tax appeals, potential big film projects in Columbus

Updated: Jan. 30, 2018 at 2:51 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A full plate of agenda items were placed on the discussion table for Columbus City Council.

The topics at hand Tuesday morning include several projects and proposals.

The first talking point in the 9 a.m. meeting was an update from the Board of Tax Assessors, and where it stands on handling appeals, cases, and settlements that have been brought before the Board of Equalization.

Deputy Chief Appraiser John Williams told the council that progress is being made, as both city leaders and the board want to resolve any remaining appeals before addressing the upcoming tax digest.

Also on the agenda, a proposed strategy to attract big film projects into the Fountain City, courtesy of the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Peter Bowden, the bureau's president and CEO, shared with city leaders his team wants to create stronger partnerships with local schools and groups to make Columbus the next biggest film spot in Georgia.

After this discussion, the council focused on proposals for reforming pay for city employees, including law enforcement agencies. As it stands, the proposal would kick in during the fiscal year 2019, and would set tiers determined by the number of years an employee works for the city, increasing their salary on a designated anniversary year (ex. every 3, 5, 7 years, etc.)

Some council members expressed concern about any reforms remaining sustainable enough not to significantly impact the budget.

Councilor Gary Allen referred to examples from past years when council felt it could only make room for employee bonuses, saying the council wanted to give them something back then, and giving bonuses was the only way the city could afford it.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said she supports measures that will increase employees' overall pay, adding that raise means more to workers.

"[If] we want to give our employees real pay enhancement, it has to be in their base salary," she said.

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