Commissioners approve new Millage rate as West Point mayor speaks out

Published 10:30 pm Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Wednesday morning, the Troup Country Commission held their third and final millage rate meeting of 2022. During this meeting they discussed and approved a new millage rate of 10.560, making a return to the rate held in 2012.

The approved budget for FY 2023 is approximately 49.8 million, 2.1 million above last year’s adopted budget. The budget goes on to include a reduction in revenue based on the proposed millage rate.

“We are recommending a reduction of three-quarters of a mill which is about $2.1 million in a reduction in revenues,” County Manager Eric Mosley said. “The reduction in millage rate has helped curb the inflation rates of access values.”

The differences in expenses come from a pay study that was implemented in January, the addition of six new positions in Troup County offices and inmate care. Of the six new positions, four will be in the Sheriff’s Office as road deputies, one will be for an individual over elections and the last will be an accounting position to help with new regulations for state and local governments. Regarding inmate care, expenses have been increased to include medical, housing, and food.

“We certainly have seen a huge increase in the price of housing inmates. Our inmate population averages approximately 600 inmates and that expense is certainly related to the additional budget amount,” Mosley said.

After approving the new millage rate, the commission opened up the floor for public hearings. West Point Mayor Steve Tramell approached the commission in regards to the Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) negotiations and concerns with West Point citizens having to pay both a city tax and a county property tax.

“We have to pay double and so does Hogansville. Even your attorney agrees that we shouldn’t be charged for the number of things you charge us for,” Tramell said. “You’re charging us for fire service, we have our own fire department, you’re charging us for 911 services, we have our own code enforcement and the list goes on.”

Tramell, in a previous millage meeting hosted by the Troup County School Board, argued that the county government is taking money from the citizens of West Point for services they do not provide. He firmly believes that West Point citizens should have a separate tax district.

“There is 17,000 people in West Point and these taxes puts them at a disadvantage. You’ve had the opportunity to change that, you wouldn’t do it. It’s just greed in my viewpoint,” Tramell said. “[Approximately] 70,000 people being represented by four people isn’t enough, it’s not adequate representation in my opinion.”