Tax increase to raise officer salaries for Statesboro PD - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tax increase to raise officer salaries for Statesboro PD

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Statesboro taxpayers could see a one mil increase that city leaders say would help attract and recruit police officers. 

The city's mayor says the city needs a tax increase to increase funding for the police department of a bustling and growing city. Mayor Jan Moore introduced the idea of a millage rate increase at the last council meeting. She says most of that would go to raising officer salaries. 

"The city of Statesboro has not had a millage increase in over 10 years. Our general fund budget has gone up $700,000 in 10 years in property tax collections," Mayor Moore said. 

The mayor says the police department's operating cost has gone up more than $1,000,000 in that same decade but says the city hasn't raised salaries at the same rate other costs have soared. Statesboro's chief says fewer people now go into law enforcement, either from the job pressures or lower pay. 

"All the departments in South Georgia are competing with each other for that same applicant pool, so we need to make sure that our wages and benefit packages at least stay competitive," said Chief Mike Broadhead, Statesboro PD. 

The city will need public hearings before they call the tax increase to a vote so the mayor and council get input to see what taxpayers want. 

Chief Broadhead compared officer salaries to a baseball team. He said you don't have to be the highest paying team in the league, but you don't want to be the lowest. Of course, we'll let you know what the city does. 

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