New Lowndes Budget

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The budget for the Lowndes County government is growing yet again, this time by $2.4 million.

The growing budget will not require a tax hike for local residents, thanks to increases in sales tax revenue, much of which is being paid by folks from other areas.

Joe Pritchard, Lowndes County Manager, says, "From our sales tax, we figure about 40 percent of our sales tax comes from citizens from outside our community."

Meaning funding for things like a new Lowndes County jail and improvements for the Fire Department are being paid by non-residents. It also means businesses around the county are doing pretty well, even in uncertain times.

"Local business leaders from a variety of industries, including small bed and breakfast inns, say they've seen strong economic growth throughout the past year. They say they're grateful to live in a community with such a strong, growing economy."

Irvin Green, owner of Fairview Inn, says, "It's been real good for us; we've had a steady growth, not an overwhelming growth, but a steady growth, and we're very well pleased."

So are local taxpayers, who can enjoy the benefits of an increased budget while letting a growing number of out of town shoppers foot the bill, and county leaders don't see any need for a tax hike in the next few years to come.

The overall cost of 2006 Lowndes County budget is $40 million.