Officials mull raising sales tax

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An Augusta Commission committee didn't say yes and didn't say no Monday to Commissioner Don Grantham's request for a resolution to increase the city's local option sales tax another penny.

Don Grantham  requested a resolution to increase the city's sales tax by 1 cent.  Special
Special
Don Grantham requested a resolution to increase the city's sales tax by 1 cent.

The administrative services committee voted to send the proposal to the full commission next Tuesday without a recommendation after agreeing they need more information on exactly how the money would be spent and what services taxpayers would get in return.

THE PROPOSAL

Ask the Richmond County legislative delegation to pass a bill calling for a November referendum that would allow voters to decide whether they want to pay another penny on the dollar to fund increased public safety, public transit and property-tax relief. The tax increase would bring Richmond County's sales tax to 8 cents on a dollar, compared with Columbia and Aiken counties' 7 cents on a dollar.

THE MONEY

Q: How much money would the tax raise annually?

A: From $32 million to $37 million

Q: How much would be used for public safety and transit?

A: From $22 million to $23 million

Q. Where would the rest of the money go?

A: A 2- to 4.5-mill tax mill rollback; Cash reserve fund

COMMISSIONERS' CONCERNS

- The effect on Augusta's economy.

- The higher tax could drive shoppers to surrounding counties to shop.

- Lack of a specific budget.

- What parts of the county that now have no public transportation would get it.

-- Sylvia Cooper

Comments (32) Add comment
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nonumberplease
0
Points
nonumberplease 02/26/08 - 05:14 am
0
0
you can't add a tax to fix a

you can't add a tax to fix a tax! The only way to fix the budget is
to cut spending. The local government has to quit spending on
anything and everything to try to satisfy everyone's needs. Run
the essentials and stop trying to be Atlanta. Property owners know with another tax that there will never be any cuts or relief,
the only relief is to get rid of the dead weight in our government.

patriciathomas
44
Points
patriciathomas 02/26/08 - 06:39 am
0
0
The sales tax is the only

The sales tax is the only fair tax. Money is needed for improvements. Get rid of the property tax, get rid of the income tax, get rid of the capital gains tax, get rid of the social security tax, let's have only a sales tax. How simple.

Jennifer30907
0
Points
Jennifer30907 02/26/08 - 07:22 am
0
0
I deal in taxes all day long.

I deal in taxes all day long. I agree with patricia the sales tax is the fairest-everyone pays. However, the only way the fair tax will work is to keep special interest groups OUT and keep spending down! Without politicians standing up to these groups and saying "NO" there will never be a fair tax. If the city doesn't raise money through sales taxes and property taxes start to skyrocket, I can see a city income tax being implemented.

MyTake
0
Points
MyTake 02/26/08 - 07:29 am
0
0
A tax to help out the police

A tax to help out the police is a good idea, the problem is that many others will have their hands out demanding a share of the windfall. If the police end up with less than 50% of the money then it is better to forget the whole idea.

DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 02/26/08 - 07:29 am
0
0
I want a full refund of my

I want a full refund of my property tax if you are going to raise this another penny splost, Walmart is all ready charging 10% tax!!!

booger
0
Points
booger 02/26/08 - 07:48 am
0
0
Give everybody another reason

Give everybody another reason to go to Columbia County

wire99
0
Points
wire99 02/26/08 - 08:55 am
0
0
Had you rather them raise a

Had you rather them raise a tax that EVERYONE pays, or a tax that few pay, ie: homeowners, and people who EARN an income?

Edward B. Turner
69
Points
Edward B. Turner 02/26/08 - 09:04 am
0
0
Why don't they give a quick

Why don't they give a quick bottom line answer? If you have a $100,00 home, for example, how much would your property taxes go down per year? When property taxes go up, they always report to that effect. Inconclusive reporting, AC! A follow up would be nice....

Interested Citizen
0
Points
Interested Citizen 02/26/08 - 09:10 am
0
0
I am willing to pay more in

I am willing to pay more in sales tax......but you can bet we won't get any property tax relief. I don't remember them ever lowering a tax. They need to look at how they are spending our current tax dollars.....CUT SPENDING!!! That is what I have to do to manage my measly income. We don't need to furnish them gas, cell phones, etc....that is a waste of our money!!!!!!

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 02/26/08 - 09:15 am
0
0
I work, and I get paid to

I work, and I get paid to work, and I have to live within my means and budget my money so I can pay my bills and have some savings left over. But let's say one day I want to start living beyond my means. So I go to my boss and tell him, "You have to give me a raise because I want more money. You have no choice in the matter." What do you suppose my employer would say? This is exactly what the commissioners are doing to us. Why not do something more practical and progressive, like maybe make Richmond County a more attractive and desirable place to spend money, thereby making raising taxes a non-issue. Why is it that the government is not required to stay within its budget like the rest of us? Why is it that we get to pay for it when they can't? You don't solve a problem by throwing money --- OUR money --- at it. If they pass this, I will do everything I can to not shop in Richmond County again. Luckily I live close to another county where the people seem to know how to elect officials who don't want to squeeze their constituents like they do here.

Little Lamb
56763
Points
Little Lamb 02/26/08 - 09:18 am
0
0
Remember, last October I told

Remember, last October I told you that Don Grantham has never seen a tax increase he didn't like.

ruhappy
0
Points
ruhappy 02/26/08 - 09:39 am
0
0
You have to be kidding me, is

You have to be kidding me, is this a joke.

getalife
6
Points
getalife 02/26/08 - 09:56 am
0
0
PT is correct. The only fair

PT is correct. The only fair tax is a sales tax that would eliminate federal and state income tax and property tax. This will let everyone share in the cost of government. Property owners have carried the full burden all these years, many with no children in school.

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 02/26/08 - 10:04 am
0
0
it is the same situation

it is the same situation detroit went thru......... u start losing your tax base, i.e. car dealerships and businesses, so u raise taxes on whats left until there is nothing left. the school system is robbing us blind and failing miserably, you have so many programs that benefit so few, studies, illegal minority programs and i did not hear any cuts. they are going to lose summerville soon to the thugs coming up from h'burg stealing and when gilbert manor moves to the lake, augusta will be effectively cut off from west augusta and c.c.. then the property values will plummet and you will have a giant democrat strong hold, social experiment, welfare state fruit pie..................they can then vote each other broker and broker

mojo
0
Points
mojo 02/26/08 - 10:06 am
0
0
here's how this plays out -

here's how this plays out - another tax increase - then splost then more taxes and more taxes - at one point will Richmond Country realized they're spending too much?

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 02/26/08 - 10:19 am
0
0
i also would like to know

i also would like to know when the urban tax part of my property tax bill is going to come off now that the old city bonds have been paid off? am i going to have to sue the govt to make them do what is right? vote no everyone fed, state, social security, unemployment, sales.............. way over half, we are all slaves for what?

shivas
2
Points
shivas 02/26/08 - 10:19 am
0
0
The answer is to legalize

The answer is to legalize gambling, and build casinos on the Savannah River.

read this
1
Points
read this 02/26/08 - 10:22 am
0
0
Don said he would propose

Don said he would propose this new tax on Comcast Live in his debate with John Butler during the campaign. John said no to a tax increase and that there should be savings to be found in a $112 million budget. Oh well.

WW1949
22
Points
WW1949 02/26/08 - 10:26 am
0
0
lIBERAL fAITH-I like your

lIBERAL fAITH-I like your idea. I am not a gambler but it would bring in alot of business. I also don't mind the penny if the millage rate is lowered on property taxes. It is time the people using the welfare and social services pay into the system with a sales tax increase. Too many don't own anything and never will but they will surely use and complain about the service if they do not get enough.

Rose
17
Points
Rose 02/26/08 - 10:58 am
0
0
Little Lamb, I remember your

Little Lamb, I remember your post about Don Granthan has never seen a tax increase he didn't like. I agree. That is one of the reasons he did not get my vote. I don't trust him.

jack
12
Points
jack 02/26/08 - 11:41 am
0
0
The one question that wasn't

The one question that wasn't asked is what is the Commission going to do to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse such as that practiced/exposed in the Procurement Dept?

Tall1
1
Points
Tall1 02/26/08 - 12:29 pm
0
0
Any tax plan that exempts

Any tax plan that exempts ANYONE is not a "FairTax". The "Fair Tax" plan will REBATE all sales taxes paid for "essentials" up to an income level. Establish the national sales tax, collect the tax, and DONT GIVE ANY OF IT BACK TO ANYONE! That's the crap that screwed up the (initially simple) IRS.

Augusta resident
1370
Points
Augusta resident 02/26/08 - 01:09 pm
0
0
The reason for the LOST is

The reason for the LOST is because you can't use SPLOST to pay the police. The SPLOST is making money faster than expected and has a cap. So I suggest the next SPLOST be a half cent and make a LOST for a half cent.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 02/26/08 - 05:19 pm
0
0
To all concerned, luckily the

To all concerned, luckily the commission cant pass this tax. This would need State Gov't approval then a majority of the Augusta citizens in November. This is not going to happen (I hope).

The real problem here is that it sounds good to say we will reduce the millage, but in reality pork projects will spend all of the "new funds" and overall spending will increase at our expense and our retailers will suffer as a result of shopping for large electronics and appliances in surrounding counties. Why would we do this to our new retailers at the Augusta Mall????

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 02/26/08 - 06:39 pm
0
0
well joe when does the old

well joe when does the old city bond tax come off of my property tax bill? don told me it was paid off last year.
augusta mall isnt going to make it in my opinion. it was a ghost town at christmas.

Jennifer30907
0
Points
Jennifer30907 02/26/08 - 11:11 pm
0
0
Deborah..what Wal-Mart is

Deborah..what Wal-Mart is charging 10%? Read your receipt. There is a 7% tax on most items except food. This is your 3% line. This is for the tax on food only. The state (4%) exempts food from sales taxes but the county (3%) does not therefore it must be separately stated on your receipt.

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 02/26/08 - 11:18 pm
0
0
here is a link to the 2008

here is a link to the 2008 augusta richmond county budget:
http://www.augustaga.gov/departments/finance/docs/2008_AdoptedBudget.pdf the way i read it the urban service bonds have been paid off yet they continue to collect revenue to the tune of 16,328,095, and have had zero debt service in the last 3 years.
i will investigate tomorrow. my urban tax is around 3000 a year and was suppose to go away when the old city bonds were paid off. looks like they owe me about 9000 bucks. this is why they want the extra penny. this money is being transfered to other departments. there was only 600 000 expense associated with this revenue. total budget exclusive of school is 780 million.

LaTwon
1
Points
LaTwon 02/26/08 - 11:28 pm
0
0
748 million............

748 million............

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 02/27/08 - 07:54 am
0
0
Your urban tax is how you are

Your urban tax is how you are taxed based on your living in the old city. We still have 2 separate tax districts. These are not separate but equal either.
Compare an urban tax bill on a 250k house to one elsewhere, not even close.

read this
1
Points
read this 02/27/08 - 09:51 am
0
0
Another nail in the economic

Another nail in the economic coffin if the sales tax goes up. The difference between Georgia and Richmond County tax on gas and South Carolina tax on gas is already 10.5 cents per gallon! And if you don't think that sucks dollars out of Augusta, you have another think coming!

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