City Leaders Discuss Taxes

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City council members have said they will not support a 10 percent increase in water rates.

Mayor John Robert Smith requested the hike in water charges last week.

"I know one thing," said Ward 3 Councilwoman Barbara Henson, "we can't increase the water fee and ad valorem (taxes). No way."

"I'd rather increase the ad valorem (taxes) than water (taxes)," said Dr. George Thomas of Ward 1.

"I am not going to vote to increase the water (rate)," added Henson.

Council members discussed the issue at a work session Tuesday. It also heard from the Firefighters Union, which requested a 6 percent pay raise.

The council has already budgeted a 2.5 percent pay increase for all city employees.