Will it make a difference to the Property Tax Problem? The short answer is no.
First, a brief tutorial on how your officials decide how much property tax they want to collect.
A) They get a tax digest every year adjusted for all of the exemptions.
That is a sum total of all the properties in their jurisdiction.
B) They decide how much money they want and calculate what Millage Rate that will need to be.
C) They vote and pass the Millage Rate
D) They get the revenues they seek The changes being proposed that you will vote for or against occur in A.
But the decision as to how much they will take from you in property taxes actually occurs in B.
What we have on the ballot this year are gimmicks to make you think that something is being done on the Property Tax Problem. In the end, the bottom line will be the same. They will extract the revenue they seek. No one should doubt that. The only limit is the maximum millage rate as allowed by law. And that number becomes less and less significant as the tax digest rises annually.
All of these "gimmicks" to lower property taxes would be unnecessary if there was honesty in this process. Honesty from the Commissions, the City Councils, and the School Boards.
Instead, it is a farce. Each taxing authority can act on its own today to reduce the millage rate to the Roll Back rate or lower based on the Tax Digest. They choose not to. Watch the Millage Rate Debate from Fulton County. Watch the one from Johns Creek. What you see will be a sad spectacle.
Property valuations could triple. That is not a crisis or problem if the majority of these officials voted to take the Roll-Back rate or lower.
The real problem lies with some of the Elected Officials, who exploit these processes. As a voter, you need to know where your elected officials stand on Property Taxes and whether or not they will exploit changes in the tax digest to extract more money from your communities.
A majority on ANY Council, Commission or Board could make this issue non-existent. Instead, we will add even greater confusion to understanding property taxes. Maybe that is the ultimate objective after all.
Wouldn't it be better if you could trust your elected officials to do the right thing? What does it say about our system if we have to pass laws to protect us from the actions of the Majority on our Boards, Commissions, and Councils?
Instead, we must watch and question every action like hawks. Because the moment we stop, they will exploit the powers we have entrusted with them.
Commissioner Bob Ellis tried. The majority of the Fulton County Commission had other ideas.
Council Members Stephanie Endres, Chris Coughlin & John Bradberry tried. Once again the majority had other plans.
J. C. Watts quoted his grandfather saying "Character is doing the right thing even when no one is looking".
What does it say when someone is doing the wrong thing when everyone is looking?
What does it say when they offer "solutions" that are really just ways to "do something" without really doing something?
I'll leave that up to you to decide.
By: EJ Moosa
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