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Augusta Budget Battle Rages On

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Augusta Commissioners still trying to find compromise when it comes to next year's budget.

Commissioners held a work session Monday to fill a projected $8 million hole.

City Administrator Fred Russell is recommending a property tax increase and a more than two percent spending cut across the board for city departments.

But, some Commissioners are now ready to support a two percent excise tax on industry to make up for those businesses no longer paying sales taxes on the energy they buy.

"The two percent excise tax, I know I may get beat up on that by industry. They're paying it. Right now, it's four percent, but as I told Finance, let's look at ways of reliving that down the road," says Commissioner Joe Jackson.

"So, the excise tax is something you can revisit, but not the property tax?" we asked Jackson. "The excise tax, I can revisit, but the property tax...no, not at this time," says Jackson.

The excise tax is estimated to generate $1.5 million.

December 3rd is the Commission-set deadline to approve next year's budget.

But, Augusta Commission Finance Committee Chairman Wayne Guilfoyle doesn't feel the commission will make that deadline.

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