For only the second time in 29 years, property owners in Thomson will be seeing a tax increase on their bills this year.
Mayor Robert E. Knox Jr. made the announcement during a special called council meeting at Thomson City Hall last Thursday night.
Three of the five city council members attended the meeting and voted to approve the tax increase, as well as changing the current millage rate from 4.56 mills to 5.4 mills - an increase of .925 mills. The councilmen approving the measures included Kenneth Usry, Alton Belton and Rev. John Smalley. Two other councilmen were absent - John T. Wiley and Jaye Jones.
Councilmen also approved a new 2008 city budget, which totals $24,071,747. Capital expenses under the new budget are set at $942,943.
"This is a tight, solid budget and only the second slight property increase we've had in the city since I've been mayor," Mayor Knox said before the meeting.
The mayor explained that sales tax figures were down this year and that some needed equipment had to be purchased and renovations needed to a building that the city has acquired - thus the need for the property increase.
Mayor Knox said $60,000 is needed for renovating the old post office and that a new street sweeper, costing about $40,000, as well as a specialized ditch machine, costing about $12,000 was needed.
Sales tax figures reveal a shortfall of about $38,000, the mayor said.
A resident living in the city with a home valued at $200,000 will now pay about $67 more in city taxes. On average, the increase will be far less than that figure, however, city officials said.
Under the new budget, city employees will receive an across the board 2.5 percent increase in pay, Mayor Knox said.