Richmond school board, lawmakers talk money issues

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009 9:17 AM
Last updated 4:40 PM
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Richmond County school board members are meeting with area delegation members this morning to discuss funding priorities for the coming year in the midst of more potential deficits.

A main topic so far has been a proposal from Superintendent Dana Bedden to consider readdressing the school tax exemption for those age 65 and older. The proposal to delegation members this morning is that those currently receiving the exemption be grandfathered in, but that going forward anyone else that age could pay school taxes based on certain factors, possibly to include the value of their home.

School Board attorney Pete Fletcher said any such move would require a referendum even if it received the area delegation's suport.

Rep. Quincy Murphy has said today that he would like the idea of grandfathering in those currently receiving the exemption, but that more homework is needed on the issue.

All total, Dr. Bedden said county officials have told him such exemptions represent about $7 million.

Board member Frank Dolan, though, cautioned this morning that tackling such a topic would be "a gigantic firestorm."

Board members agreed to refer the issue to their financial committee to further research the idea and formulate a proposal to the full board by the end of the year.

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Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/05/09 - 10:00 am
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There are a lot of homeowners

There are a lot of homeowners in Richmond County over the age of 65. Taking away their school tax exemption could be the third rail that sends representatives and senators to the category of "former" lawmaker.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/05/09 - 10:54 am
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so i guess this is calvin

so i guess this is calvin hicks and/or the tax assessors doing also.....i said it before it's your gov't representation that is the primary reason for tax increases...and now another "legacy" candiddate was just elected to the school board whose platform was not the demand, expect or work for increasing academic standards or student/parent accountability but to "continue the legacy of her late husband"...she is a retired operating rm nurse, that is indeed an admirable profession, but not one that is needed on the school board, unless someone gets sick what is needed is younger minds with new ideas and solutions to the current poor academic performance, but more important someone who understands the impact on the poor taxpayers of yearly tax increases and not the move afoot to rescind the homestead exemption....it will only end when the commission lead by tax'em till they bleed fred" and "the BOE, lead by tax'em till we tax'em out of their home, because IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN" venus cain and all other members of the board and the superintendent.....

Venus
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Venus 11/05/09 - 12:18 pm
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Check your facts! I didn't

Check your facts! I didn't attend the meeting this morning so how could I have this discussion about the tax exemption? Secondly check facts your facts one more time! I voted not to raise your property taxes when we set the mileage rate. Lastly I reduced my board pay because I felt if I was going to ask the employees to give up part of their salary as a leader I should be willing to give up part of my salary which I did. But I guess you feel the need to get half the truth instead of all the truth. This is just what keeps Augusta from moving forward half truths or distorted truth for your own selfish needs. One last thing, I pay taxes just like you so, if I raise your taxes I raise my taxes if I hold the line on taxes, I hold the line on my taxes. Whatever I do on the school board regarding taxes will I feel the same results you do. I work everyday just like you, I bleed the same color blood you do, I have the same concerns you do and I hope we serve the same God. The only difference between the two of us is I'm trying to help move us forward! What are you doing to move Augusta forward?

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/05/09 - 12:50 pm
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i have been following the

i have been following the school board meeting for the last 3-4 years...i have watched try and justify increases in mill rates, fees or unnecessary spending by using the phase "for the children"...you and other board members authorize spending for athletic venues, then turn around and authorized layoffs for teachers, parapros, bus drivers and anyother group that directly influence the education process, not one of you ever, ever suggested that extra curricular activities be cut or suspended due to budgetary constraints...facts..you want facts....1)augusta richmond county has the 6th highest dropout rate for black males in the ENTIRE country(higher percentage than the school district in detroit michigan)..2)no high school outside of davidson/johnson mad AYP..so why have YOU demanded more of the county high schools be turn into magnet school based on the johnson/dovidson learning model..3)the last 2 years the school system ran budget deficits..with last years deficit reaching 24.5 MILLION DOLLARS!!..4) not enuff textbooks in some subjest and supplies for all of the students..if you HAD the same concerns i have i would have suspended all sports programs for schools that

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/05/09 - 12:58 pm
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CONT>>> failed to graduate

CONT>>> failed to graduate less than 75% of its senior class, failed to meet AYP and tested below average in the crct....if you felt the same way i did i would have pushed to follow the recommendation that you were given and that is to closed 2 high schools because the recommendation indicated it was necessary...if you felt the way i did you would have fought to have instituted a "NO NON-SENSE, ZERO TOLERANCE" for any disruptive, disrespectful and violent student to expell them immediately!!!!...if you felt the way i did you would push to give teachers (who are you 1st line of defens-in the battle to educate the children) more money and authority over their class rooms....if you felt the way i did you would have fought to institute a uniform policy instead of the kids walking around with their pants down by their knees...if you felt the way i did you would fight to increase academic standards so you won't have another butler or anyother high schools student be honor roll student but can't even pass the test to get her high school diploma(the science part even after taking it four times)...

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/05/09 - 01:03 pm
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so please ms. cain don't say

so please ms. cain don't say you feel the way i do because you don't your job on the school board is to make sure the school district continues to receive as much state and federal education funds as possible even at the expense of those children who want to learn and the dedicated teachers and educators who have no backing from the school board...i have yet to see you mention any of the things i just mentioned, yes children desreve an education but those who attend school for any other reason should not be there because when the rubber meets the road and at the end of the day it is the poor taxpayer who foots the bill and they should receive more than what they are in regards to academic achievement for the amount of tax money that they have to pay....and they don't considering the level of academic peformance at the high schools....

Wilson
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Wilson 11/05/09 - 01:13 pm
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WOW!! Is all I can say!

WOW!! Is all I can say!

Venus
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Venus 11/05/09 - 01:26 pm
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lifelongresidient I think you

lifelongresidient I think you have been watching another channel! We are making improvements but the issue here is the first statment you made which is not true. The bottom line here is you and only you made a statment that is not true and you refuse to correct your error. Bottom line its not about what you think you know its about what is true. You only get a snap shot of what is going on by watching the meetings on TV. Maybe you should atttend the meetings look at all the documentation we look at. I bet I could make a whole lot of what if about what you should be doing on your job looking from the outside in. But again its about the statements you made which where not true! Just man up/ woman up and say you made a mistake and move on. Just like Forrest Gump thats all I have to say!

justus4
113
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justus4 11/05/09 - 01:41 pm
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The "grandfathering" of
Unpublished

The "grandfathering" of current seniors will not matter because the AWM and media operations will turn such a juicy issue into a public lynching. Those grandfathered will act as if they don't believe they will be the exceptions, and conjure up huge mis-info acts, that will be put on TV and made a matter of life or death. Yep, U can't touch this one unless its done without the old folk's knowlwdge because their entitlement mentality is legend.

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 11/05/09 - 01:57 pm
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I never understood how some

I never understood how some property owners that own large chunks of land on the River only pay a few thousand dollars for their land. Take CONTINENTAL BLEACHED PROD of MEMPHIS TN. owns 2151 acres and pays $7,746.70 in taxes that's $3.60/acre. That's just one example there are alot of others with some better deals.

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 11/05/09 - 02:06 pm
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Wish I owned the 3.4 acres on

Wish I owned the 3.4 acres on Gordon HWY that pays 13 cents in taxes.

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 11/05/09 - 02:17 pm
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Then the best deal of all:

Then the best deal of all: The land that has no taxes because it is owned by the city yet has a pool and is riverfront. It's the pool at the Marriot downtown. Let's hope nobody drowns in it and sues the city (us taxpayers).

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/05/09 - 03:54 pm
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ms. cain it is you who needs

ms. cain it is you who needs to "woman up" and i am not talking about challenging a 68 year old man to a fight....what i am talking about is the concern for the taxpayer....it is not a half truth that the 2009 projected budget deficit was 24.5 million dollars, it is not a half truth that laney was designated the 2nd worst high school in the state, it is not a half truth that no high school outside of johnson/davidson made ayp, it is not a half truth that rich cnty had the 6th highest drop-out rate for black males in the entire country...improvements????? give me a break...then i ask you or challenge you why not fight to make all rich cnty schools magnet schools using the same learning models as johnson/davidson???? in the business world successful businesses are studied by those that are less successful to use some or all of their methods, rich cnty has 2 of the, if not the best schools in the state and highly ranked in the entire country so why is it that you and all those sitting on the board refuse to institute that learning model throughout all of the remaining high schools?????

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/05/09 - 04:01 pm
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the reason is that would mean

the reason is that would mean loss of DOLLARS of which to waste on useless ineffective and cost inefficient programs...it's all about BUTTS IN THE SEATS not the quality of education because it education was the most important priority then teachers, parapros and all other support personel directly related to the education process would be kept and paid well, not an advertisement in the metro courier for bids to build laney a brand new b-ball gymnasium (this for a high school that prior to this past graduation year only graduated less than 35% of its students)...one other thing ms. cain how do you think the late lucy laney, a former educator herself would feel if the school name after her had a graduation rate of either 34% or even at the highest of 54-56%????? take a look ms. cain at old picture showing ms. laney and her students...they are all neatly dressed, not with pants dowm by their knees

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/05/09 - 04:08 pm
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so to all other property

so to all other property taxpayers as you can see none of my major question regarding academic achievement in the richmond county schools were addresses or explained by ms. cain...now its the homestead exemption for those over 65 is the next in the sights of the school board/superintendent...the mill rate is almost if not maxed out and the no votes for school tax increases are only done when that specific board member is up for re-election..until then its just tax'em until we tax'em out of their homes...concentrate more on the spending habits of the school board/commissioners than the over all tax liability..because porperty values can go up and tax liability can decrease IF THE MILL RATE IS LOWERED...

disssman
6
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disssman 11/05/09 - 04:30 pm
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It is time for all retirees

It is time for all retirees to get actively involved with the operation of the RCBOE if we want to have a say in what we pay taxes for. That means recruiting and electing non teacher representatives from the retired community and attending board meetings and asking questions about where the money is being spent. A good start would be demanding total transparency of the RCBOE budget so we could see exactly where our money is being spent.

Little Lamb
48975
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Little Lamb 11/05/09 - 04:41 pm
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Disssman; didn't you get the

Disssman; didn't you get the memo? If you are over 65 you do not pay school taxes on your primary residence in Richmond County. Now, Dana Bedden would like to change that. So instead of "demanding transparency" of the school board, you should demand the status quo from your state representative and state senator and city commissioners and school board members.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 11/05/09 - 05:26 pm
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dissman, i agree, but it

dissman, i agree, but it doesn't have to be retirees, anyone with some business acumen inorder to demand higher standards, place education first, ahead of special intrests, both white and black...set graduation rates and demand they be met, if not then suspend all extra curricular activities for schools that don't meet the standards...it's all about education, the school board, ms. cain included parrots "investing in children" but how can you invest in children when they 1)aren't a sufficient number of textbooks/school supplies, 2) teachers getting laid off,3) getting waivers from the state to increase class sizes, 4) not expelling students who interfere or disrupt the learning processt..but they can find money to build sporting venues(f-ball, b-ball, tracks) for schools that can't even meet ayp..this is the school board's idea of ivesting in children.."build sporting venues and when they graduate, but can't read then they will be the (prison/criminal justice)system's problem......t

ConsiderThis
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ConsiderThis 11/05/09 - 05:41 pm
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The 24.5 million budget

The 24.5 million budget shortfall was for this current school year to continue services at the same level idenfitied during the budget planning process, not a deficit caused by spending. Over 60% of the funds to educate chilcfen come from the State and given the State's fiscall issues, RCSS had the contributions reduced. Last years budget actually had money left over which was used to decrease the number of furlough days given by the Governor.

corgimom
38349
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corgimom 11/05/09 - 06:33 pm
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Senior citizens had their

Senior citizens had their free education paid for by taxpayers. Now it's their turn. I would far rather pay school tax then to live in a society where most of the people have inadequate education. You can either pay it in school taxes or pay it in welfare. Which benefits society the most?

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