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Augusta Commission discusses tax increase

City leaders discuss business exemptions in budget talks at retreat

Friday, June 27, 2014 11:41 PM
Last updated Saturday, June 28, 2014 1:34 AM
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A 2-mill property tax increase for government operations and a new tax on manufacturers to fund law enforcement, transit and reduce blight might be on the horizon after Augusta Commission members approved the two “action items” at the end of a daylong Friday retreat.

The new tax, an excise tax on energy used in manufacturing, puts them at odds with Mayor-elect Hardie Davis, who co-authored the legislation that exempted manufacturers from paying sales tax on energy but allowed counties to replace the lost revenue with an excise tax.

Davis, who attended the retreat, questioned the wisdom of imposing the tax, up to 2 percent of the 6 percent exempted by the state, a move already taken by Columbia County.

“Does it make us as competitive as a city?” he asked. “Are we being revenue-neutral by doing it?”

Finance Director Donna Williams presented information on the tax as part of an extensive budget proposal at the retreat, held at Augusta’s Kroc Center. The city, already facing a $5.4 million budget shortfall this year, will lose $4 million a year in revenue by 2016 when the new exemption, taken by about half of the city’s 25 largest property taxpayers, is fully phased in.

Williams’ recommendation, to charge the tax and dedicate 75 percent of the revenue to law enforcement and a quarter to transit, was met with Commissioner Donnie Smith’s suggestion to use a third of the law enforcement portion to tear down some of the thousands of abandoned buildings that litter Augusta-Richmond County.

Williams came to the retreat armed with the other breaks only Augusta provides its businesses, including a five-year exemption from property taxes for business and commercial capital improvements valued at more than $100,000, and a five-year exemption for manufacturers for capital improvements valued at more than $1 million. Both exemptions go back decades.

Williams’ and Deputy Admini­strator Tameka Allen’s other recommendations included two budget proposals, both of which included a 2-mill increase that would raise the countywide millage to approximately 10 mills. The tax increase would amount to a $70 increase in the county services portion of tax bills on a $100,000 home with a standard homestead deduction and generate $9 million in revenue.

Augusta hasn’t raised taxes since 2007, when commissioners increased the mill rate by .25 mills, and property owners actually pay a slightly lower mill rate now than then because the county tax digest has grown slightly.

Commissioner Bill Lockett advocated for both increasing the millage, which he said taxpayers will accept “if we let the people know how the money is going to be used,” and implementing the excise tax.

Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle said doing both will “double wham” for Augusta industries, several of which are in his district, and made other suggestions, including closing unused recreation facilities and charging nonprofits a fee for services.

“Have you talked to your pastor about this?” Davis, a pastor, asked Guilfoyle.

Guilfoyle’s suggestion to send consultant Malik Watkins of the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government to evaluate Recreation, Parks and Facilities instead of Procurement, where the commission had intended, did become another “action item” approved by the group Friday.

Allen and Williams said the years of not raising taxes were catching up with the city. “We cut the fat out of the departments a long time ago,” Williams said.

“They have not had these decisions made in the past, but they’re catching up with us,” Allen said.

“Something needs to happen,” said Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson, in a heated runoff for the Senate District 22 seat. Any increase needs to “do enough, so they don’t have to keep coming back.”

The $145 million general fund budget proposal supported Friday included reversing 2.4 percent budget reductions approved as part of the 2014 budget in December and replacing them with 1 percent departmental cuts. It includes a $1,000 pay increase for all employees, effective Aug. 1, a vacation day buy-back program, narrowly closes the $5.4 million deficit with which the commission started the year, restores $1.1 million to the city’s rainy-day fund depleted by winter storm cleanup and court settlements and ends the year with a $459,393 surplus.

Commissioners will formally adopt the tax rates in August, after a series of public hearings if they choose to raise them. The numbers could change based on a financial audit Williams said will be presented to the commission July 7.

Commissioners Joe Jackson and Alvin Mason missed the retreat, but the rest of the commission, Davis and Mayor Deke Copenhaver praised the presentations made entirely by city staff.

IN OTHER ACTION

On Friday, the Augusta Commission also approved:

• Authorizing an 18-question “citizen survey” developed by Allen to be distributed in the coming weeks and online to poll residents about city services, their priorities in a sales tax referendum, whether they want taxes raised and whether Augusta’s mayor should have more authority

• Adopting an online evaluation tool for top city staff, many of whom haven’t been evaluated in years

• Leaving Augusta’s personnel board as is, rather than changing its authority

• Calling a work session to further review revisions in the works for the city’s personnel policies and procedures manual, including one revision that allows both safety-sensitive and non-safety-sensitive employees who fail a drug test to be rehired after a period of time has passed and they’ve completed an approved rehabilitation program

• Having a committee review Fire Chief Chris James’ request to “equalize” pay among his staff and raise that of new recruits to stop them from leaving for higher paying jobs after being trained

– Susan McCord, staff writer

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dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 06/28/14 - 04:27 am
11
0
no tax increase
Unpublished

Bill locket, marion Williams and the rest of the commissioners have lost their minds. For a free spending commission that is out of control, the citizens that own property should take a stand on this issue. The citizens that do not own property and are not subject to this tax have to know that the owners of such property that you rent will go up by the amount of raise in taxes. The reason this should be is not to hurt the lower income citizens but to make these folks think when they vote for their commissioner. These commissioners now in place have no clue how to manage money, they screwed up the bids on contractors picking up the massive trees doing the ice storm and my guess is the citizens are going to have to pay for the commissioner inept ability to do things by the book. They say there has not been an increase in taxes since 2007, wrong, what about the garbage pick up fee doubled, the water has doubled, the assessments have gone up on houses and these commissioners can't even get the contract right on the remodeling of the white palace, now that is in limbo and f it is rebidded how much more will that cost the citizens. This is not a black and white issue, this is a citizens issue that will affect everyone. To keep taxes down, you have to cut out programs and services and stop going on trips and spending money on a fishing expo looking for missing hard drives. This county has to be accountable for their spending and the justice dept. needs to audit this city and find out where this money is being spent and the legality of the spending. You have commissioners that won't pay their property taxes but have the audacity to ask for a tax increase. Stand up Augustans or be buried in taxes.

geecheeriverman
2393
Points
geecheeriverman 06/28/14 - 04:30 am
13
0
we cut the fat

Finance Director Williams said "we cut the fat out of the departments a long time ago" This is just such a laughable comment. This is how government bureaucrats really think.

rational thought trumps emotion
2558
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 06/28/14 - 04:40 am
12
0
Do Your Jobs...Make Tough Decisions

Properly fund the services a local government is responsible for to include Public Safety (Police, Fire, EMS); Infrastructure; and City Maintenance to include the demolishing of all dilapidated criminal ridden vacant properties lining our streets.

Greatly reduce all non-essential expenditures to include public transportation which is used by so few you should have vans instead of busses, close rec centers that are within less than 2 miles of each other and sell the property, sell the golf course that no county should own to begin with, stop spending thousands of dollars on other non-essential budgetary items such as newspapers in print, coffee for the municipal building, and the list goes on....

Immediately end all tax monies going to private enterprise that do not directly benefit the city in one of the aforementioned listed primary functions. Stop wasting money on going to conventions because you know what needs to be done but often are just too weak to do it. Stop worrying about re-election and worry about Augusta, the citizens, and the direction we are headed. And as for spending money on all of these studies that most of the time you never listen to anyway, just stop already.

As for all of the Departments in the county, they are NOT the same. Just because one agency or department needs more money or their salaries are not comparable to similar agencies or departments does not mean that every other department or agency needs a raise. If the fire department is losing 20% of their staff yearly due to higher competitive salaries nearby and therefore the county is wasting money on training them, the adjust their salaries accordingly. However, if those in the rec department and many other departments have salaries comparable to other counties recreation departments, etc. then don't even consider salary adjustments or raises, it is a foolish waste of taxpayer money and commissioners need to get it through their heads that all departments are not the same. If RC constantly loses IT personnel because they can make much more elsewhere then we have better step up to the plate because it is costing us every time we lose a great employee but again, that does not mean others who are fairly paid for the job function they are assigned need a raise to retain their employment.

Get rid of all non-workers, the positions that have been created over the years for friends of administrators and commissioners, etc. - If you want to be the County Administrator then make the tough calls and put us in the right direction - cut all the waste, and we have plenty.

Now, for the real problem, most of our taxes go to the deplorable school system that can barely graduate 50% of their students although they spend more per pupil than systems that graduate close to 90%. Remove all of the people at the BOE that were shuffled around because they weren't or couldn't do their jobs - the only shuffle that should ever take place is the shuffling of pink slips to those who fail to make a positive difference in the lives of children on a daily basis. There is so much waste in the school system with such poor results that like it or not school vouchers is about the only thing left to make the school system do what is right by those it serves because for now, the poor students who can't afford private school alternatives are not being afforded and good chance to excel in life and for all of the money we give the BOE, that is just pathetic.

What is sad is the lack of true leadership in our county. We need our leaders to step up to the plate, make the tough decisions, do what is right vs. what is electable and make Augusta better for a change.

Riverman1
83487
Points
Riverman1 06/28/14 - 06:10 am
12
1
Guilfoyle

No wonder Guilfoyle is skeptical. It takes money from South Augusta that often ends up in East Richmond County.

nocnoc
42423
Points
nocnoc 06/28/14 - 06:31 am
11
1
Wayne Is Right ..... As usual

Again DOWNTOWN Rapes the South Side for $$$$ to solve its problems.

The question is no longer will the South Side get fed up and De-consolidate, but when it will be championed by the right person to save what is left of Richmond County.

BTW: Before leaving with my 3 big truck load, I noted the 250+/- Low income Apt's on US 25 & Boykin Rd. broke ground and grading was already underway.

Given those involved and their history for building Low Income/Sec8 Apartment complexes in MANY other states and locations. I wonder how long it will take for this hidden truth to come out and be acknowledged by the crime reports.

NOTE: the Rezoning was approved PRIOR to Wayne G. taking office.

LuvMyTown
2009
Points
LuvMyTown 06/28/14 - 06:33 am
1
12
Keep Property Taxes Down

Restore the sales tax on energy used by industry, remove the tax exemption freebies, and pass SPLOST.

LuvMyTown
2009
Points
LuvMyTown 06/28/14 - 06:35 am
4
1
Keep Property Taxes Down

Fee for services to non-profits seems reasonable too.

corgimom
32158
Points
corgimom 06/28/14 - 07:49 am
6
3
“Have you talked to your

“Have you talked to your pastor about this?” Davis, a pastor, asked Guilfoyle.

HUH???? Why would a Commissioner speak to a pastor about county business?

This is why Augusta is the laughingstock of Georgia.

nocnoc
42423
Points
nocnoc 06/28/14 - 07:55 am
6
3
Pass SPLOST??????

OHHHH!!! heck NO. We saw all the Political Shenanigans in the last SPLOST and who thinks it will get better?

But let me see if I understand the logic here.
SPLOST = Tax Increase.
Mill Rate = Tax Increase.
Is one increase better than the other?

Why a millage rate increase?
Because DOWNTOWN IS OVER SPENDING and continues to Tax and Overspend on Stupid projects that will NEVER show a positive ROI.

But line the right pockets with overpriced contracts.

But people have a problem with Taxing Non-Profits, where some employees make better $$$$ than private business?

In my book its simple .
If you use a County Resource then pay for a County resource.

Little Old Lady
5907
Points
Little Old Lady 06/28/14 - 08:57 am
1
1
Augusta

The city is the county and the county is the city. It is and has always been East Augusta, South Augusta, West Augusta; and North Augusta, (which is in South Carolina.)

dichotomy
32718
Points
dichotomy 06/28/14 - 09:45 am
3
0
When you have a "we can't do

When you have a "we can't do anything right" commission and department heads you get a "let's get some mo' revenoo" county government mentality.

Unfortunately, tax increases are always the cure for government incompetence.

And NO.....if you raise taxes.......do not dedicate ANY part of the tax increase to one agency. PUT IT ALL IN THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND. Dedicating the hotel/motel tax to Laney Walker was a stupid thing to do and so would this.

Yes, implement the energy tax to replace that lost revenue.

So, I'm looking at MORE than $100 increase on my property tax....Ladison pushing for another yet TBD $35 or $40, or maybe more, a year for Rain TAX.......lord knows what Mark Johnson will do to me........and then the Second Tax raise......the arbitrary, not based on ANYTHING Tax Appraiser's Office PROPERTY VALUALTION.....or will they wait until next year to raise the property valuations because they think the people are too stupid to know that is how they REALLY raise your property taxes.

South Richmond County.....you are trapped in Tax Hell.......they tax YOUR vacant land at Residential rates, give you nothing, charge you extra for any service that you do get, fail to respond to calls for police service when you are being shot at, and do everything possible to discourage development in your area by Section 8'ing the thugs, punks, and low income problem children to your area. You MUST secede from this poorly run, incompetently led, purposely discriminatory government. They are raising YOUR taxes to pay for THIER INCOMPETENCE and THEIR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST YOU. By forcibly TAKING your money away from you they are empowering themselves to continue their incompetence and discrimination so that they can sit their ignorant butts in a commissioners chair and make intelligent remarks like "let's get some mo' revenoo". YOU, South Richmond County, District 8 in particular, are NOT part of the "city" of Augusta. You are merely a geographically attached free source of revenue where they can seize your money and they do not have to make ANY investment. We could just as easily be attached to Burke or Jefferson County or stand as an independent municipality and control our own tax monies.

I'm sure countyman will come on here and tell us about a couple of road projects BUT REMEMBER.....that is mostly being done with TSPLOST money and that is yet ANOTHER SEPARATE TAX that has nothing to do with your property tax money. Your District 8 property tax money goes to subsidize DOWNTOWN. Any service you actually get from the "city" is a separate line item on your tax bill......fire, garbage, schools, and you pay dearly for it and STILL DON'T GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH.

Riverman1
83487
Points
Riverman1 06/28/14 - 09:46 am
0
0
Davis Was Joking

I believe Hardy Davis was joking with the "Have you talked to your pastor" remark.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 06/28/14 - 09:58 am
4
0
Pastor doesn't have to be about religion!!

Speaking to a pastor about issues such as this has nothing to do with religion. Who interacts with the people, more than pastors? Pastor's have good knowledge of the feelings of the people. Pastor's hear their gripes, complaints and criticism, daily. Now, speaking to only ONE pastor, might not be great, but speaking to several could give them a better idea of where the people stand.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 06/28/14 - 10:07 am
1
2
Why?

" The citizens that do not own property and are not subject to this tax have to know that the owners of such property that you rent will go up by the amount of raise in taxes."

While I agree with you that this would happen; why must it? Same reason that if fast food workers got a raise, price of the food would go up; but why? Because the owner refuses to take ANY reduction in profit? Isn't that the definition of greed? It's my understanding this increase would mainly affect the largest property owners in the area. Are you saying these people can't afford to take a decrease, without passing it down to less-well-off people??

Some of them can't take a cut from $400,000.00 a year, to $375,000.00 a year??? I guess not!! They wouldn't be able to buy their wives and girlfriends those brand new BMW's or Mercedes every year!! C'mon man!!!

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 06/28/14 - 10:59 am
3
2
Getting what you deserve
Unpublished

Well voters overwhelmingly elected Hardie Davis Jr as the next mayor.. the co-author of the bill that will now put Augusta-Richmond County in a yearly financial hole of $4 million. In mayoral forums, Davis said he thought property taxes "were historically suppressed" and keeping people from moving to Augusta. Yes he actually said people were not moving to Augusta because property taxes were not high enough. Davis philosophy on taxes is quite transparent.. take the burden off big business and industry and put it on the backs of the average Joe property owner. Also, non profits continue to get a free ride... not having to pay for the city services they use. Once again you get to pay their share. We tried to warn you about Davis... now you are reaping what you sowed.

Sweet son
10323
Points
Sweet son 06/28/14 - 11:21 am
3
1
Rain Tax!

Nobody even mentioned that as a new tax! It is a tax and not a 'fee!

Little Lamb
45828
Points
Little Lamb 06/28/14 - 11:36 am
2
1
Lame Duck

The second half of 2014 is going to be a bad year for Augusta taxpayers. We have a lame duck mayor and three lame duck commissioners who have nothing to fear from voters; hence, they are setting up a substantial property tax increase, to be followed in 2015 by a SPLOST referendum. The rain tax is all Engineering Director Abie Ladson can talk about, and Roads & Bridge man Steve Cassell can hardly contain his glee over the TSPLOST.

Taxpayers are doomed.

Also, look at the slobbering about increasing taxes on Augusta's manufacturing base. That's not a good way to treat your goose that's laying golden eggs right now.

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 06/28/14 - 12:24 pm
1
2
You can thumbs down
Unpublished

all you you want but I believe voters sent a clear message when they elected Hardie Davis by such a heavy majority that they are OK with a property tax increase and a stormwater fee. Davis was the candidate who made no bones about being for just about every tax down the pike, as long as it is paid by the average Joe and not big industry. He is for you paying SPLOST but wants to exempt industry from paying it. He said property taxes are not high enough. Guess who pays? I am sure with his stunning win with over 70% of the votes, Davis believes he has a clear mandate to push his agenda for higher taxes on the average property owner.

flipa1
1509
Points
flipa1 06/28/14 - 12:48 pm
4
0
Your taxes will have to go up to pay for all the stealing...

Your taxes will have to go up to pay for all the stealing... If you stop the stealing, false police reports, non-profit use of county buildings, electricity, water, school buses, employees, and such your taxes would NOT have to go up. Augusta does not have a tax problem it has a CRIME PROBLEM. Charge them, arrest them and make them pay back all the missing money and you will not put families on the street who cannot afford more taxes and fees. EVERY RENTERS RENT WILL GO UP. We shared this awhile back. Now an environmentalist that uses almost all county services free, BUSES, FUEL, DRIVERS, EMPLOYEES, etc.. is suspected of hiding the marina rent checks to say the marina is not paying their rent and has used county resources to slander the marina, steal county property, use county employees for their own personal gain, etc.. THIS is why your taxes are going up. Cut out the crime and save your homes. If not, this is just the BEGINNING of tax increases. We bought a building for $75,000. The appraiser keeps raising its value now to about $300,000. to RAISE TAXES, so in fact there HAS been a tax increase almost every year.. This building in Augusta will NEVER bring that. It's just a lie to raise taxes.

The real culprits behind this tax increase are NOT the commissioners unless they vote for it. The real culprits causing your taxes to go up are unelected buearacrats, and rich & powerful people who sit on boards & who know how to puppet master those who do not know any better. We found out there are several people in Augusta who WANT to pay more taxes and if the county let them pay more taxes our Deputies would have had a cost of living increase several times and we would have thousands more jobs. The tax-USERS are stealing deputies pay and smiling in their face about it. We told them to stop stealing DEPUTIES PAY but they WILL NOT STOP even though we have recordings of them admitting it. If you know of any crime being committed by tax users call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS, or EMAIL/TEXT your tips to TIPS@AugustaCrimeStoppers.org. Where you remain anonymous and keep your home.

corgimom
32158
Points
corgimom 06/28/14 - 01:59 pm
1
2
myfather, name another city

myfather, name another city and school board that is run by pastors.

THAT is why Augusta is in the terrible shape that it's in!

As for being a joking remark, nope, I don't think so. I think it was dead serious.

corgimom
32158
Points
corgimom 06/28/14 - 02:03 pm
2
1
myfather, nobody has to talk

myfather, nobody has to talk to pastors to know what people are thinking and feeling. Pastors, by definition, only have very limited, homogenized groups of people in their church. There are distinct differences between people who attend church and those who do not.

To suggest that pastors know what is going on in a county- they, whose organizations are tax-exempt and therefore suffer no repercussions when taxes are being raised- are not the right people to consult.

Commissioners need to go talk to THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE TO PAY THE INCREASED TAXES.

corgimom
32158
Points
corgimom 06/28/14 - 02:05 pm
2
1
myfather, the majority of

myfather, the majority of landlords in RC are not big corporations. The majority only own a few properties. Many are elderly people that use the money to live on.

Nobody in their right mind would keep a property that is unprofitable, who would do that?

Butterman
3680
Points
Butterman 06/28/14 - 02:06 pm
3
0
Pastor Card
Unpublished

I think we are getting a whiff of what a hardie Davis administration will be like. Get ready for the "Pastor Card" to be used early and often.

harley_52
23160
Points
harley_52 06/28/14 - 02:10 pm
2
1
"Is one increase better than the other?"

Depends on whether you're paying it, or somebody else is. I noticed the stampede of non-ARC citizens vehemently opposing the SPLOST so the property owners of ARC would have to bear the tax burden all by themselves.

It worked.

Now they can sit back and spend more time badmouthing Augusta for a dilapidated infrastructure, limited amenities, low salaries, and slow growth while they continue to freeload of ARC property owners to pay for ARC operations and improvements all by themselves.

corgimom
32158
Points
corgimom 06/28/14 - 02:14 pm
1
3
OK, now I know who flipa is.

OK, now I know who flipa is. Flipa, if the marina issued a rent check, they either have a cancelled check that they can produce, or they can stop payment and issue a new one, and send it certified requiring a signature. And if they paid a rent check that hasn't been cashed, they have paperwork that can prove they issued the check.

Before you accuse people of committing wrong acts, you had better be very sure of your facts. Produce the paperwork that proves the check has been issued. Produce the stop-payment, the reissued check, and the return receipt.

That's how people in the real world handle things.

Then you won't have "suspicions", you will have PROOF.

And you can't do that, that tells me that "hiding the rent checks" isn't true.

corgimom
32158
Points
corgimom 06/28/14 - 02:15 pm
2
1
Harley, considering that the

Harley, considering that the SPLOST didn't pass, I'd say that the citizens of RC had the same questions and concerns that we did. My dog Toby could've seen it, it was so obvious.

Little Lamb
45828
Points
Little Lamb 06/28/14 - 02:43 pm
2
0
Wrong Premise

Harley, you have to remember that SPLOST and property taxes are two different animals. This lame duck session press to pass property tax increase is for the normal operating & maintenance expenses of the city (including this across the board raise for all employees, good and bad). SPLOST money must be used for capital expansion and infrastructure. SPLOST should not be used to transfer taxes from citizens to private groups who sponsor "quality of life" feel-good projects. Those transfers to private groups are why the referendum failed.

It is not a matter of deciding which kind of taxes we are forced to pay. This lame duck commission and mayor will be lobbying and voting for every tax, fee, and assessment they can envision.

Taxpayers are doomed.

countyman
20022
Points
countyman 06/28/14 - 03:11 pm
1
5
Budget

The city needs to enact the excise tax on manufactures for 1 or 2 years... The rain tax is a good idea and doesn't seem to be a problem in Columbia or Aiken Counties.. The Splost package is the best way to pay for improvements, because the entire CSRA shops inside Richmond County.. The city of Augusta must also begin to start taxing vacant properties across the county.

The comments regarding South Augusta are becoming ridiculous and clearly over the top.. Please make up your mind? Every week somebody will make a sarcastic remark about South Augusta being poor/working class and crime ridden.

The same people on a different article will then portray South Augusta is full of upper middle class residents funding all the improvements in the county..

The hotel tax funding the LW/Bethlehem revitalization is coming from the hotels in West Augusta..

''Greatly reduce all non-essential expenditures to include public transportation which is used by so few you should have vans instead of busses''

Both ADP($40 million & 1,000 employees) and Starbucks($172 million & 140 employees) have said we need to improve public transportation... I don't know anybody can expect for Augusta to attract high paying jobs with inadequate public transportation. The number of people using the system daily would increase from 3,000 to over 6,000 if the system was expanded..

harley_52
23160
Points
harley_52 06/28/14 - 03:08 pm
1
3
Wrong Argument...

I'm able to understand that the SPLOST and property taxes are "two different animals." I'm also able to understand that opponents of the SPLOST (including many non-ARC residents) chose to connive to highlight the very small percentage of proposed SPLOST expenditures going to what they called "private groups" to cast a negative light on the entire proposal. The effort to defeat the SPLOST was successful and all the non-residents have now escaped the new tax. Property tax payers in ARC will now foot the bill that others escaped.

I'm not a fan of taxes of any sort. I do recognize, however, that Augusta is aging and in need of sprucing up here and there. Personally, I'd like to see visitors (and users) help ARC residents pay for it, but that ain't gonna happen.

So, my taxes go up right along with other ARC property owners. I agree the ARC government will raise taxes wherever they can. The scope of their control does not extend beyond the County limits, however, so we property owners will carry the burden for all.

Congrats to the SPLOST opponents, especially the non-ARC residents.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 06/28/14 - 04:03 pm
2
0
Pastor's, who interact with

Pastor's, who interact with citizens every single day, have no idea what is troubling the people??

Notice I did say talking to a SINGLE Pastor, wouldn't be good; but talking to many, including every domination and religion, isn't a bad idea. You CAN get very good information from them, about citizens and what is troubling them. Sorry, I just disagree!!

I don't think the commissioners are going out and each one speaking individually to the tens of thousands of people they represent. That's why they have community meetings and are SUPPOSE to attend. Guess who else attends those meetings? Often times, Pastors. Why? Because they're involved in their communities!! They aren't trying to FORCE religion down peoples throats; they're just trying to be involved. As anyone knows on here (Especially ICL) I'm not a big fan of pastors or preachers; but it's just common sense that they are a little more in touch with their communities.

By the way; where is ICL? Haven't seen her in a long time.

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