July 25-- The Montgomery County Commission is holding the line on expenses in 2013 and Monday approved a county budget and property tax rate which are essentially the same as this year.
County manager David Curry says the 12.5 mil rate will remain the same to finance a $3,457,000 budget.
The county will pay an estimated $78,000 next year for a property revaluation and is cutting corners elsewhere to make up the difference. The new budget contains no money for county recreation and the commission turned down a $40,000 request from Sheriff Clarence Sanders to pay for a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program in the schools.
Commission Chairman Franklin Brantley says the commissioners are doing all they can to hold down expenses.
"With a lot of management from our county manager and from commissioners working together to maintain our county budget, we did what we had to do and I think that's a plus for everybody in Montgomery County. It's going to be tight for 2013 with the economy like it is and I hope it gets better, but we feel like we can operate it again without having to raise taxes," he said.
Meanwhile, the commission and county municipalities have signed an agreement on the division of local option sales tax revenue for the next ten years starting in January.
The county collects an estimated $300,000 a year in the sales tax and it's being divided on a pro rata share based on population figures in the 2010 census.
Only Mount Vernon and Uvalda are receiving a larger percentage than in the past, and for the first time the city of Vidalia is getting a percentage from Montgomery County based on the number of Vidalia citizens who live within the county.
Government % Under Current Agrement % Under New Agreement
Mt. Vernon 23.57 26.86
Uvalda 6.40 6.55
Ailey 6.37 4.73
Higgston 3.82 3.54
Alston 1.92 1.74
Tarrytown 1.21 .98
Vidalia 0 1.42
Montgomery Co 56.78 54.18