Monday, October 25, 2010
Posted by James at 8:58 AM
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Posted by James at 8:50 AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Posted by James at 11:06 AM
We are a mere two weeks from the general election and, though the contest for mayor has garnered far and away the most attention and the District 5 race has slung far and away the most mud, other important races are on November’s ballot. Out here in the hinterland where I live, the District 1 seat on the Athens-Clarke County Commission is up for grabs (the one for which I unsuccessfully campaigned in 2002 and 2006). So, as a public service, here is what doubtlessly will be the only candidate questionnaire concerned specifically with that race.
- Question1 concerns a specific provision of the Unified Government’s Charter vis-à-vis the millage rate in the “general services” district, which encompasses the entirety of District 1.
- Question 2 concerns property tax “circuit breakers,” an idea put forth repeatedly by the current Mayor.
- Question 3 concerns the “conservation subdivision” ordinance, which pertains to the county’s AR zones and thus to District 1.
- Question 4 concerns the Commission’s practice of using development moratoria to craft policy in an ad hoc manner based on personal likes and dislikes, rather than using them for legitimate “emergency” situations.
- Question 5 concerns the agreement reached between the residents of the Dunlap Road area and the Unified Government – subsequently broken by the latter – concerning expansion of the landfill. The landfill is located in District 1.
- Question 6 concerns the status of Ben Epps Airport vis-à-vis the Clarke County Airport Authority. Since city-county consolidation, the commissioner representing District 1 has been the Commission’s representative on the Authority (until the last redistricting, the airport was located in District 1; it is currently located in District 4). Also, the question concerns implementation, or rather the conspicuous lack thereof, of a specific provision of the Unified Government’s Charter.
- Question 7 concerns Fire Station No. 6, the only Unified Government fire station located in District 1, which has been closed for going on 20 months.
- Question 8 concerns the upcoming SPLOST 2011 ballot resolution.
Posted by James at 8:26 AM
Posted by James at 8:22 AM
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Besides which, if the version of local-option sales tax expressly devoted to property tax relief is, at best, only marginally effective, why should a variation not devoted to property tax relief achieve that goal any better. Of course, it does not.
Which brings us to the second article (Vol. 3, No. 7), which is entitled SPLOST Has Little Effect on Borrowing to Finance Capital Improvements but Does Lead to Increases in County Spending and dates from July 2002.* Notes this second article:
Posted by James at 9:37 AM
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Because of our unique location and heritage − and, of course, the University of Georgia − Athens is a hub for visitors from all across Georgia, and beyond, who come for shopping, sports, and a wide range of services. Since 1985, over $314 million has been collected in Clarke County … one SPLOST penny at a time. About half – over $150 million – from non-residents for improvement and growth of our community.
The alternative for raising money for any of the SPLOST projects is to raise property taxes.
Athens-Clarke County has the smallest land mass of Georgia’s 159 counties, but is the fourteenth largest county in population. Yet 47% of its land value is exempt from taxation. This means that, if we did not have SPLOST, all capital projects would have to be totally funded with our property tax dollars, putting an unfair burden on property owners and their renters to the benefit of visitors and commuters. For example, if just the new jail fell on residents − instead of SPLOST − property tax on a $150,000 home could increase over $70 a year.
Posted by James at 9:46 AM
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I think that the voters of Athens-Clarke County should send the SPLOST 20011 ballot resolution down to defeat for an array of reasons of reasons. This is just one of them.
Posted by James at 8:11 AM
Monday, October 11, 2010
Posted by James at 3:26 PM
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Posted by James at 8:54 AM