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City OKs amended occupational tax increase

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, left, presents a certificate of achievement award to Finance Director Kris Newton during the Tuesday City Commission meeting at the Government Center on Pine Avenue. The city’s finance department received a certificate of achievement for meeting the highest standards in its comprehensive annual financial reports by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United Sates and Canada.

Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, left, presents a certificate of achievement award to Finance Director Kris Newton during the Tuesday City Commission meeting at the Government Center on Pine Avenue. The city’s finance department received a certificate of achievement for meeting the highest standards in its comprehensive annual financial reports by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United Sates and Canada.

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany City Commission tabled for a second month a planned public hearing on a rezoning request and decided not to vote on alcohol license applications and a proposed intergovernmental agreement with the Flint RiverQuarium that would have included funding for the aquarium because of the absence of three commissioners from Tuesday's business meeting.

Commissioners Jon Howard, Christopher Pike and Tommie Postell were excused from the meeting by the board, although Commissioner Bob Langstaff said he was hesitant to excuse missed meetings for the work-related excuses offered by Howard and Pike.

"If they're going to miss meetings because of work, should we move the time back (to 8 p.m.)?" Langstaff asked as the board held its night business meeting at 6:30 p.m. for the first time.

Told by City Manager James Taylor that the date, not time, was the determining factor in the commissioners' absences, Langstaff agreed to vote for excusing his colleagues.

The commission voted to increase occupational taxes in the city, but by less than the amount requested by staff. Approving an alternate proposal offered by Commissioner Roger Marietta, commissioners approved a change that will raise the lowest occupational taxes collected from $100 to $125 and will base future changes on the Consumer Price Index. Staff had sought a $150 rate for the city's small businesses.

City Finance Director Kris Newton, who accepted a certificate of achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for utilizing the "highest standards" when making comprehensive annual financial reports, said she's not certain of the language in the proposal passed by the commission.

"I'll have to make sure exactly what was passed tonight," she said after the meeting. "I wasn't exactly clear on the language."

The proposal in the city's agenda package calls for an increase of 20 percent in profitability class ratings, a minimum rate of $125, a maximum of $8,000 -- which was changed to $9,000 before the vote -- and a change in the date for yearly license renewals to Jan. 31.

Despite City Attorney Nathan Davis' admonition that the rezoning request by EIG Albany Square, which wants to locate a dental practice in the Albany Square Shopping Center off Dawson Road, would enter its third month of consideration after being sent back to the Planning Commission for further consideration last month, the board voted to table the matter until its Dec. 18 night meeting.

Ordinances and resolutions approved by the commission will:

  • Amend the city's Flood Plain Management Ordinance;
  • Allow Albany media outlets WFXL and The Albany Herald to stream live audio and video of the commission's monthly business meeting;
  • Authorize Taylor to execute letters of indemnity that will allow Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital to hold its Jingle Bell Jog event Saturday and the Remaining Few Motorcycle Club to hold a motorcade Dec. 9;
  • Give Taylor the authority to enter into an agreement with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government to conduct a city/Water, Gas & Light Commission efficiency study;
  • OK the use of Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VI funds for the purchase of financial software and mobile radios;
  • Extend the time the Chehaw Park Authority may pay a debt due the city;
  • Approve an agreement to extend for six months the services of federal lobbyist Alcade & Fay LTD;
  • Authorize the acceptance and drawing of funds from Department of Community Affairs grants;
  • Approve a memorandum of agreement between the Albany/Dougherty County Emergency Management Agency and Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany;
  • Remove language from city code that allows commercial vehicles to remain in residential neighborhoods for a period of eight hours.

The board also denied a request by Amanda Wiley for an exception to the 120-day moratorium on personal care home occupational tax applications.

Comments

Amazed2 2 years ago

Lee County says Thank You Thank You Dougherty County. We very much welcome all people and Businesses that cross the bridge into our county. Again Thank You Commisioners!!!!!"""

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Abytaxpayer 2 years ago

Another "Pro" Business move by the Commissioners! Hmmm they just raised property tax to steal more from business owners and now they raise the cost to have a business in Albany. And just what are they wanting to do with those confiscated funds???? O Yes they was to p!ss it away on non-budgeted things like the Fish Bowl and other non-community supported failures downtown. Yep that is a GREAT “Pro” business message!!! More like Yo Ho and a bottle of rum. Drunken mindless spending of other peoples hard earned money. How about 75 % salary cuts for the Commissioners. Now that would be Leadership!

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Abytaxpayer 2 years ago

So is the "NEW" City "Press Agent" going to be hired as a city employee or a contract employee. I wonder if JD knows? :-)

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DoctorDorite 2 years ago

I've heard the large Dental practice is seriously negoiating/considering a location in Lee Co. due to the commisioners taking 3 months for approval and "still" can not approve a simple request to locate in Albany Square. Yep, Red Tape abounds in Albany, Ga, the regular process is if you can't decide just table it or pass the buck. MERCY !

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Abytaxpayer 2 years ago

Now wait a min Dr. Haven’t you heard the Commissioners so proudly proclaim they are "Pro" business? I once thought that meant they welcome business to Albany. But now it is more like Pillage, Roust and Offend businesses in Albany.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

As Ronald Reagan said "The beaurocrats have never seen a tax they didn't like"

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DoctorDorite 2 years ago

Albany spent big bucks with these "Welcome to Albany" signs, has anyone looked to see what the backside of these signs says ?? Any quesses ? LOL

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Amazed2 2 years ago

The back side Simply says Welcome to Lee County. Welcome to Worth County and Welcome to Mitchell County

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