Worth County seeks another loan to meet payroll

Worth County, nestled between Albany and Tifton, has a population of just 21,000. The county seat is Sylvester.

And Worth County is obviously facing some financial trouble. The county commission has already taken out one loan to pay the bills and voted today to take out another.

From WALB:

Worth County is in the middle of a money problem. Officials say they do not have enough money to pay workers this Friday.

According to the county, the budget has a need for $350,000 but only $40,000 is available to pay out.

The county took a loan of $750,000 in early September, but commissioners worry about paying future bills.

Officials say they expect $600,000 from insurance bonds in the coming weeks that will help pay salaries and provide some cash on hand.

Apparently the commissioners have committed to not raising taxes, and the WALB piece mentions the possibility of increased tax revenue during the holidays. Many municipalities also receive property tax payments this time of year.

Still, nothing’s too reassuring when there’s just $40,000 in the bank (less than $2 per resident) and there are already debts in the hundreds of thousands.

According to WorthIt2U, Worth County commissioners have also terminated the E-911 Director and have accepted the resignation of the County Attorney.

“Worth” puns expected in the comments, but maybe someone has some relevant info to share as well.


  1. saltycracker says:

    Doggone, we just can’t send enough $$ in there…here’s some peanuts:

    “Recipients of Total USDA Subsidies from farms in Worth County, Georgia totaled $258,866,000 in from 1995-2012.”

    #3 recipient County in Georgia and Sylvester is the peanut capital of the world.


    Top subsidies by farm in 2012:

      • Ghost of William F Buckley says:

        If Worth County would find it worthwhile to consolidate with any adjacent County of:

        – Dougherty,
        – Mitchell,
        – Colquitt,
        – Tift,
        – Turner,
        – Crisp or,
        – Lee;

        would that make Milton County easier to occur? Would one less County avoid Milton from having to go to the General Assembly to incorporate?

        Poor ol’ Worth(less now) is less than 5 miles from revenue rich I75, I say they plan a march onto Tift County to the East!

        Interesting point, Salty…

        • griftdrift says:

          To answer your specific question, yes and no. Yes, it would mean the Constitution would not have to be amended to lift the cap on counties. No, the General Assembly would still have to approve incorporation.

          But I doubt it will happen. There have been counties that are smaller and in much worse fiscal shape ( off the top of my head Talifierro, Early and Echols ) and they never consolidated.

          Your point about I-75 is a poignant one. Look at the census map of Southwest Georgia. The only counties that are not dying are the ones on a major artery ( I-75, US. 319, to a lesser extent HWY 133 )

        • Engineer says:

          I don’t think you are quite familiar with the size of Worth County. In total area, it is larger than Fulton County. The tiny and lightly populated counties between Waycross and Valdosta would be a better area to look at for potential consolidation arguments.

          • Will Durant says:

            Since we no longer have to worry about the one-day wagon ride thing size doesn’t matter as much as population density and more importantly, the tax base.

            • Engineer says:

              I think you are forgetting the issue of costs for infrastructure and education. The larger the county, the more those costs skyrocket. You said so yourself, ” size doesn’t matter as much as population density”, and by combining an already large county lightly populated county with another lightly populated county, you would just be diluting an already diluted population density. I shudder to think about how long bus rides would be for students if they tried consolidating the schools to save money. D:

        • Dave Bearse says:

          Of course they’re not going to consolidate. It would require raising property taxes. I tune out governments (or school districts) crying they’re broke when their tax rates are notably lower than the mean. See the unincorporated county millage rates below from this source: https://etax.dor.ga.gov/PTD/cds/csheets/LGS_Georgia_County_Ad_Valorem_Tax_Digest_Millage_Rates_by_Taxing_Jurisdiction_PTSR006OD_2012.pdf

          Granted homestead exemptions may vary, and may significantly affect effective rates, but Worth has the lowest nominal rate.

          Worth 10.25 mils
          Dougherty 11.89
          Mitchell 20.29
          Colquitt 16.72
          Tift 12.18
          Turner 16.09,
          Crisp 10.78
          Lee 12.77

  2. pettifogger says:

    Isn’t that where those guys killed the massive diamondback a few years ago?

    I think that may be Sylvester’s claim to fame.

  3. Ellynn says:

    Worth County BOE is one of the state systems that has lost a good chuck of their state and federal funding and does not have a strong tax base to make up for the lose. The system had to raise their millage rate by almost 9% this summer. They also increased the number of sherrif cars on their section of Hwy 300. Saw 6 people getting tickets when I drove through last month.

  4. seekingtounderstand says:

    Its all part of United Nations plan to move folks into the cities thru bankrupting rural areas that can not self support due to government regulations……………………..Agenda 21. Joking!
    Expect more of this to happen thru out Georgia…………..and solar farms will not save you!

  5. seekingtounderstand says:

    Interesting to me is that those counties which lost the income from coal power plants are desperate for other revenue and are pushing for solar farms for them only. If you want to see a model of government run utility look at Buford GAS, they take hugh profits from surrounding counties and great monuments unto themselves just like Donald Trump.
    So we the people of Georgia will be having our elelctrical rates rise to fund counties that are with out income. And it makes no financial sense.

    How about building Retirement Villages, cheap homes built around the Del Webb community method. Retirees would flock to the warmer climate and enjoy being close to Atlanta, but not in Atlanta. They do not produce enough tax revenues but the business that spring up around them would. And you do not have to build schools for seniors.
    Combining Counties has got to happen, there are just too many. Funny how Republicans for smaller government can’t make that happen while they control the politics.

    • saltycracker says:

      Having been a frequent critic of the small counties and cities in GA, it is a local matter. Yes, many should consolidate.

      About the only thing, I imagine, state Republicans can do is set limits like minimum population to form an entity. A City of a few thousand in a county of 10/20 thousand is local ego and control.

      What would be crazy if the Republicans step in and start bailing out these jurisdictions.

      One thing the state could do is to get a grip on jurisdiction shopping for rezoning, development, taxes and political promises. Annexing rural land into cities is for the purpose of development, sticking everyone else in the county with a big hunk of the public infrastructure needed when rezoned by the city as a condition of sale to a developer.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        “One thing the state could do is to get a grip on jurisdiction shopping for rezoning, development, taxes and political promises.”

        Georgia already has an experienced agency that does all those things, the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

  6. seekingtounderstand says:

    How about building a Georgia version of Disney World………………………..in south GA.
    Come on we are now spiritually dead of new ideas………………………..

    • saltycracker says:

      Better to go the other way and unwind the excess public service empires until the area has a tax base to support it. Or let them increase their local taxes if that’s what they want.

    • saltycracker says:

      Disney, why my hometown is a good place to visit and a bad place to live.
      When did uncontrolled growth, low wage jobs and more tax revenues result in reduced taxes and improved lifestyles thanks to more players ?

  7. Jane says:

    Worth County Commission
    Chairperson, County Commission
    John ‘Mike’ Cosby (D)
    County Commissioners
    Bettye Bozeman (R)
    Billy McDonald (D)
    Mack Sutton (D)
    Joe Gaines (A)

    3 Democrats, 1 Republican, and apparently one person who was appointed to the County Commission.

  8. benevolus says:

    Hey, OT but, I sure have been seeing a lot of dried up un-harvested corn still standing in fields this year. What is up with that? Is that how they do cornmeal- just let it dry on the stalk?

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