Commissioners voted unanimously last week to lower Upson County’s millage rate from 8.6 to 8.28 following a recommendation from County Manager Jason Tinsley.
Tinsley said re-assessment of property and new construction in the county both increased, accounting for balanced growth of the tax base and allowing the rollback. The commission is expected to set the millage by the board’s Aug. 10 meeting, at which time members could opt for an even lower rate.
Commissioner James Ellington reminded that increasing homestead exemptions, either for elderly or across the board, remains atop the board’s priority list.
Tinsley noted that there are multiple jobs available to fill open positions in the county, adding to the need for workers at businesses and industries throughout the area.
“There are lots of jobs and not enough workers,” Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Kyle Fletcher told commissioners during a presentation. Fletcher has delivered the same message to the City of Thomaston, Community Relations Committee, and Thomaston-Upson School System.
“This is a very challenging community issue,” she said. “As an economic developer it’s scary. If we had an industry wanting to relocate and create 75 new jobs, where would we find the workers?”
Fletcher reiterated that one of the main problems is finding workers who can pass a drug test. She emphasized the need to reach not only students, but also their parents, to improve a failing work ethic.
In other business, the commission voted unanimously to establish a “court technology fund” to index historic plats which have been scanned, helping relieve a storage space shortage for the Clerk of Superior Court.
Indexing would allow information to be accessed more easily, and a “search fee” would enable the county to recoup the one-time charge of $28,550 for the technology. New plats would be loaded automatically at no additional charge, according to officials.