2009-04-29

Property tax increase proposed

From Athens-Clarke County:

The FY10 Mayor’s Recommended Budget has been submitted to the Commission for review as required by law. The Mayor’s Recommended Budget proposes a millage rate of 13.20 for 2009, an increase of 0.25 of a mill. The final decision related to property taxes for 2009 will be included as part of the adoption of the FY10 Budget scheduled for June 2, 2009. Pursuant to the requirements of Georgia Law (OCGA 48-5-32), three public hearings will be held during May to comply with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights:
  • Hearing #1 – Wednesday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Planning Auditorium at 120 W. Dougherty Street.
  • Hearing #2 – Thursday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Planning Auditorium at 120 W. Dougherty Street.
  • Hearing #3 – Thursday, May 21 at 6:45 p.m. in the City Hall Commission’s Chambers at 301 College Avenue.
The FY10 Mayor’s Recommended Budget can be reviewed on Athens-Clarke County’s Web site at www.athensclarkecounty.com. Copies of the FY10 Recommended Budget are also available for public inspection during normal office hours at the following locations: Office of the Manager, Room 304, City Hall; Athens Regional Library, 2025 Baxter Street; and the Clerk of Commission’s Office, Room 204, City Hall. For more information on the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Web Site at http://www.etax.dor.ga.gov/ptd/adm/taxguide/rights.aspx.

1 comment:

Winfield J. Abbe said...

In yesterday's Athens Banner Herald, page A-5, there appears a chart of the Athens Clarke County tax digest published by the Athens Clarke County School Board which is also seeking to raise taxes.
It shows the value of real and personal property in Athens Clarke County this year to be about $ 3.72billion, about $ 92 million HIGHER than last year and about $ 1.1 billion HIGHER than 2004. All this despite the Milford Hills mortgage fraud, the enormous downturn in housing and real estate prices during the past year and the fact that numerous properties have sat on the market and even switched from one real estate agent to another for years without selling. Many properties would not sell at any price right now. Furthermore for almost every week during this past year about 100 or more foreclosures have been advertised in the ABH every Friday.
I ask every citizen to consider these questions: Do you believe these statistical data? Do you think they are true or fraudulent in an effort to fleece more undeserved money from hard working property owners mainly to pay the costs of others who do not pay their fair share of costs of government? As Mark Twain once said, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics". The best way to tell a lie is with statistics that virtually no one is capable of disproving. And just because this or that random property happened to sell last year in a down market does not imply at all that your property would also sell in such a market.
I also ask you to consider the blatant unfairness of the property tax and then read the equal protection clause of the Georgia Constitution and see if the two could be reconciled. For example, I know one individual who does not even live in Clarke County, but is forced, under the threats of fines, jail time and confiscation of his property, to pay about $50,000 property tax to Clarke County. Not only can he not vote here, and therefore has no, zero representation at all, the very issue the American Revolution was fought over some two+ centuries ago, but his children have long graduated from the public schools, but he and others like him, are forced to continue to pay and pay and pay, year in and year out, for the enormous educations costs of others who have children but are unable and unwilling to pay their own education costs of the children they brought into and fostered into this world. This is not to mention the enormous other costs of government that are unfairly borne by the property taxpayers, while many other dead beats pay nothing at all for their fair share of government services; police, judicial, health, public indigent fund at the public hospital, library, parks, jails, etc., etc., etc. Do you think this tax is fair and conforms to the demands of the equal protection clause of the Georgia Constitution? Would not a fair tax be one that requires every adult citizen to pay the same amount regardless of status in society? Georgia once had such a tax; it was called a head tax. But you and I know why such a tax is not required in the law, but replaced with a totally unfair Robin Hood type of tax where the money of the "rich" is taken by the military force and power of government and transferred to the "poor"; you can't get blood out of a turnip can you?