Monday, May 27, 2013
When I started writing this column, I composed a (depressingly) long list of actions from which I could choose to highlight City Hall’s questionable behavior. In the event, I settled on just a couple of things that have been foisted off on us by our betters in the Unified Government, ones that have dealt with constitutional questions and generated some push-back on the part of the judiciary.
Readers desiring more on either of the incidents mentioned can simply enter some reasonable search terms and read all about them in the Banner-Herald archives.
And seeing as how I keep penning columns protesting government actions and (directly or indirectly) concerning constitutional issues, I guess that I should expect a letter from the IRS any day now, huh? Sphere: Related Content
Posted by James at 4:36 PM
I didn't have room to delve into it in the column, but the two millage rate reductions by City Hall in 2004 and 2005, both long since obviated by later hikes, are deceptive.
In 2004, growth in the tax digest during the housing boom resulted in substantially more revenue for the city-county government. The folks down at City Hall were simply going to spend the new "free" money. A group of local citizens (and by that I mean Clarke County Republicans) studied the budget and recommended some specific reductions which, to its credit, the Mayor and Commission adopted and were thereby able to lower the millage rate. Readers should remember, though, that taxes can go up even as the millage rate goes down because of higher assessments, which is what happened in this instance. And don't forget that, prior to the public outcry, local government was quite content to simply spend the new revenue.
In 2005, City Hall's own budget documents made plainly clear that the millage rate reduction was not a tax decrease at all. With the implementation of the stormwater utility fee, what money was "lost" via a millage rate reduction was simultaneously gained via the new source of revenue. Clarke County residents were still paying the same amount (actually more), it was just coming out of one pocket as opposed to another.
Posted by James at 4:33 PM
Monday, April 29, 2013
-Federal housing grants – $377,500 (as best as I could determine this included $175,000 in
-Presbyterian Church (USA) – $150,000
-Governor’s Discretionary Fund (Roy Barnes) – $10,000
-Georgia Community Loan Fund – $25,000
-Other private donations from individuals, business, and churches – $200,000
Posted by James at 9:33 AM
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The column I started to write concerned how specific amendments in the Bill of Rights (the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, and 10th come immediately to mind) have been all but eviscerated (or at least are in the process of being so), and how a couple of other amendments (the 16th and 17th) have seriously undermined the concept of federalism on which the county was founded. And , of course, the rampant perversion of the "commerce clause" and the employment of judicial fiats have been used to justify all manner of government activity. But, sometimes in the writing process, the one you intended to write morphs into something else, so this is what I ended up with.
To read Wagner’s supposedly inflammatory essay, “As American as . . . Compromise,” for yourselves, follow the link link. Just use something like “Wagner,” “Emory” and “three-fifths” as search terms and you will find plenty of media coverage.
To the best of my knowledge, those states that have passed some sort of bill concerning alternative currencies, or that have at least expressed interest in studying the idea, include Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Just use something like “state alternative currency” as a search term and you will again find plenty of media coverage. Sphere: Related Content
Posted by James at 2:13 PM
Monday, April 1, 2013
Posted by James at 8:18 AM
Monday, March 18, 2013
Posted by James at 8:47 AM