Greetings, fearless readers, and welcome back to TPC. Can you believe that we are now officially halfway through the year of our Lord, 2018? Me neither. Time's kind of funny that way; it seems to speed up as we start to slow down.
So, where to begin? How about the Newton Co. budget & the proposed property tax increase.
As the publication has mentioned a few times, it seemed as if the original proposed budget was pretty irresponsible, what with the funding for all of these new public safety positions when we weren't even close to filling the spots we already have. Well, that apparently didn't phase a four member voting consensus. Commissioners Cowan, Henderson, Schulz & Simms all voted for a budget that was just slightly lower than the one proposed by Loyd Kerr, county manager. This budget, in my estimation, is reckless, outrageous & a total slap to the face of the Newton Co. taxpayer.
Here's a post from Citizens for a Better Newton:
...the BOC apparently reached a majority consensus on a $65.35 million budget that will require a property tax increase to 14.002 mils. That is up from 13.44 mils and will cost taxpayers about $2 million more in taxes. The BOC will officially vote to approve this budget in July. Any property tax increase is unacceptable given the recent rise in appraisal values.
The really bad news is that the proposed budget is packed with wasteful spending. Our county manager proposed an inflated budget overflowing with good stuff for everyone except taxpayers. The die was cast from that point and a millage increase was almost certain.
Yes, funding for the infamous Nelson Heights Center is still in the budget at $38,800. Chairman Banes scolded Commissioner Nancy Schulz tonight for asking questions about the ethics of that situation. That was a reasonable inquiry because many citizens are asking. It is disappointing that Mr Banes is not living up to his promise to be fair and objective in all matters before the BOC.
There are about 45 new positions in the budget costing $ 2 million- and that cost will go up each year for eternity!. Funds are included for 19 positions for the Sheriff and Jail and 12 for the Fire Department even though both have 50 plus total vacant positions they cannot fill now (emphasis added)! And, once that million dollars is in the budget, it will get spent. You can count on that.
The County budget is growing much faster than our population. In FY 2016 the budget was $53.77 million and in FY 2019, it will be $65.35 million- a 21 % increase in three years when our population has grown about 5%! Its a sure bet that few taxpayers have had a 21% increase in household budgets since 2016 (emphasis added)!
And that, my friends, is the money line - 5% population growth with a 21% increase of government spending.
Look Ma - No Hands!
July 1st marked the beginning of a new era in Georgia when HB 273 ascended to state law. The "Hands-Free Law" will now mean that you cannot even hold your phone while driving. Also, this law pretty much gives carte blanche for any & all law enforcement to be able to pull you over for any reason whatsoever. Probable cause? "I thought I saw them holding a phone." Case closed.
But the "There Oughta Be a Law" crowd have cheerleaded this new law as a way to save lives, and that it's for the children! Our CF Floyd Writer for National Affairs, Mr. Perrin Lovett, actually addressed this a while back & references the fact that studies show that laws such as this really don't have the desired effect. One thing you can count on, though, is the fact that government revenues will increase as more tickets will be issued.
And Yours Truly was recently quoted in another publication - the Barrow Journal - as a "Georgia liberty activist."
“I got my first cell phone in 1998,” said Georgia liberty activist Marshall McCart. “I’ve never had any problems with it; never had a wreck. The data clearly shows that this will not lower the number of wrecks or fatalities. It will, however, reduce civil liberties while increasing government revenues. That’s about it. It’ll be good for the ‘ju$tice’ business. But what about my business? But...we just had to do something, didn’t we? Just another law, just a little bit more government is gonna fix up all of our problems. This is going to be an absolute cluster….”
What can I say? I'm passionate about this issue.
So, once again - more government, more taxes, less freedom.
Happy 4th, everybody!