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City’s street light plan will add to business tax burden

Things could get brighter in Augusta, but with the result of increased costs for area businesses.

The city plans to expand street lights on various streets and neighborhoods. It will use $1.5 million of the $6 million Rescue Act Funds it received to cover the shortfall of the project. But that won’t cover the ongoing expense of keeping those lights glowing.

To cover the increase in the city’s power bill, the city proposed hiking the business tax rate to $175, a 63.5 percent raise of $68. Residential rates would rise 17.6 percent, from $85 to $100.

The city commissioners are expected to make a final decision this summer, in time to include the new rate on September’s tax bills.

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