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August 1--  There's good news and bad news about property taxes in Montgomery County.

The bad news is that the county commission is raising the tax.  The good news is that they have backed off on the amount of the increase.

Initally, the commissioners were planning on a one mil increase to give the budget an extra $217,000.  However, after a public hearing and talking with folks, Commission Chairman Franklin Brantley says the commissioners, on a 3-2 vote, decided on an increase of only 3/4 of a mil.

"We're doing our duty to meet our budget for 2012 and, at the same time, try to understand what's going on with the economics and please some of the voters out there and the folks in the county, so we chose to go back to 3/4 quarters of a mil," Brantley said.

The new budget eliminates the need for furlough days for county employees, however, the loss of a quarter-mil takes away their 1.5 percent pay raise.

"The employees have paid their dues.  They've done it (furloughs) for three years and we were all strongly committed to doing away with those six days.  Of course, we had also put in a 1.5% raise and we eliminated that as part of the makeup between a mil and three-quarters of a mil," he said.

The chairman along with Commissioners Brandon Braddy and Vernon Sumner voted for the increase with Commissioners Clarence Thomas and John Carpenter voting no.

Meanwhile, as far as school property taxes are concerned, there will be no increase this year.  The Montgomery County school board has voted to maintain the tax at 12.1 mils.

At a called meeting, the school board also awarded a nearly $94,000 contract to Bishop-Durden Insurance of Vidalia for the school system's liability, property and workers compensation insurance.