Haddix: SPLOST is double taxation

Fayette County has been trying to resolve how to pay for their stormwater needs. When it was confined to a county issue, Peachtree City stayed out of it. But now that the county is thinking about a SPLOST, we have been pulled in.

A county-wide SPLOST to pay for their stormwater is an attempt to circumvent using a county-only utility fee, which Peachtree City property owners do not pay. It is double taxation no matter how you try to explain it.

It is troubling Chairman Steve Brown didn’t ask the mayors to meet with him on this proposal as is the proper procedure. It is troubling to be told the SPLOST was to be spent on stormwater in the county and the cities. The county does not tell cities how to spend their share of any SPLOST. It is also troubling the county seems determined to move forward on this whether we agree or not.

Chairman Steve Brown stated the employee cost for stormwater is being transferred to the general fund. This is yet another example of double taxation because Peachtree City property owners pay into the general fund via their county property tax bills. They cannot use our tax dollars to pay for employees doing stormwater work.

When Peachtree City began dealing with our stormwater problems, did the county government or residents want to pay for Peachtree City stormwater problems? After all, we are part of Fayette.

No, they did not, it was our problem, not theirs.

The stormwater bond for Peachtree City is already in place. It does not disappear with a SPLOST. A SPLOST adds another tax and has us paying for the county stormwater, double taxation. The county gets half of the SPLOST while Peachtree City gets 31 percent when Peachtree City is the economic engine of the county. Where is the fairness Chairman Brown talked about?

Saying we could spend the money elsewhere is arguing for another Peachtree City tax increase. The current council majority sure isn’t going to cut taxes when there is another .4 millage rate and .402 general obligation bond increase in the current budget projections. So, here we go with another tax increase on top of the debt and taxes already enacted.

Councilman Dienhart put this as an agenda item for discussion on April 18th council meeting. On The Citizen blogs he says he wants to use it for cart paths, roads, etc. That means he is again on board for more taxes.

Some in the county say that Peachtree City should pay for the county stormwater since we live in Fayette County and use their roads.

First of all, roads are not paid for as part of stormwater, so we do pay for county roads via the county property tax. That means they are our roads as much as they are county residents’ roads.

Second, county residents use our city roads but are not paying for them via the county property tax. Nor do they pay for our stormwater costs. So this fairness claim needs to be seriously reexamined.

It is fascinating to me that Chairman Brown is pushing the SPLOST. On the 2009 SPLOST proposal, when Peachtree City wanted it for debt reduction, he vocally opposed the SPLOST and said everything was to be paid out of property tax. He was adamant a SPLOST cost owners more in taxes than property tax. He said it would not result in cutting property tax and just be a tax increase. That is exactly what is happening with this proposal that he is backing.

OnePeachtree City and the Needs Assessment Survey gave the citizens of Peachtree City a voice. They said very clearly no more tax increase and taxes were not being spent how they wanted. They also supported the Comprehensive Strategic Plan I have been pushing for six years now.

Get the plan in place, then adjust our spending and services to comply with the plan and fit our pocketbooks.

That has not happened and we can reduce spending using such a plan. Until that is done, no more debt and no more taxes.

Peachtree City needs a plan and a vision. We have neither and it shows. No one can look at us and say what our vision is or how we are working to get there. We are mired in doing the same old things that no longer work.

To preserve the best of the past we have to adjust to the present and plan for the future. We have to move from the 20th Century into the 21st.

There is no reason for Peachtree City to support this SPLOST proposal.

Don Haddix, mayor

Peachtree City, Ga.

Mike King
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Regarding Another SPLOST...

...The mayor is correct in that we don't need it, but as pointed out below he offers no solution nor is he capable of doing so(remember the needs assessment?) It is far past time for those of us who chose Peachtree City for the lifestyle to realize that the cost of our bloated city government is actually eroding that quality of life we expect.
Examples of waste are visible daily when observing one public works employee clearing a ditch with while three to four others watch while four city trucks sit at idle and unoccupied. When asked how many dump trucks the city currently owned three separate sitting council members had no idea, but they each voted to borrow nearly $300K to purchase three more. The Kedron bubble provides a service to at least as many out of town users as it does for residents yet who foots the bill?
My point here is that this town needs to be run like a business instead of a municipality with unlimited funds. Further, when city employees like our most recent fire chief display deplorable judgement and actions they should be held accountable, not simply be allowed to retire at our expense.
This mayor, and ultimately this council has done little but to perpetuate an entitlement attitude among its higher paid employees by increasing the level of debt for each of us.

Allstar American
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Mr. King

You sound like a candidate. How would you propose that we replace the current SPLOST funds. No sarcasm- I am really asking.

S. Lindsey
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Well Mayor Haddix

this is what happens when Local Government fails to work within it's means and instead uses the Federal model of Deficit spending.

The only options most Politicians know is to raise taxes...

Bet you wish you guys let those evil"Big Box" stores in for the Tax revenue.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Big Boxes

Actually, they were given three big boxes and never built any. Nor did Kohl's ever submit a plan or request for PTC. The developer only asked for sq'.

Going further, Kohl's had already signed onto Fischer a year before I was elected, cut their plan in half and then cancelled.

Email me at donhaddix@donhaddix.com and I will send you the data showing Big Boxes hurt a local economy, not help.

By the way, the Big Boxes are shrinking their new store sized down to 32,000 sq' in most new locations.

Nope, no regrets on no more Big Boxes.

Spyglass
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So you think Racetrac was the way to go?

It is going to look horrible...have you seen that cliff at the back of the property?

There had to be a better compromise for that parcel. Just had to be. Your negative opinions about most everything are hurting this City.

Waiting...

Allstar American
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Dont fall for the village idiots lies

If these funds are used for currently unfunded road and path repairs, it isn't double taxation. FYI, at his town hall, Dienhart said he turned a balanced budget last year. My understanding was Haddix didn't even make a proposal. You can decide for yourself, but in my opinion, this moron is trying to win an election by ripping down others, when he hasn't offered anything even remotely close to a solution to the city's problems. Pathetic.

Robert W. Morgan
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"Winning an election by ripping down others"

Maybe so, AA, but he seems to be ripping Steve Brown which is like going after Jack the Ripper with a toothpick.
Woefully unprepared for the task at hand is our feckless lame duck mayor.

And once again, another example of the seeds of a good idea (double taxation) worthy of future exploration - but not by mayor at odds with his own city council, staff and citizens. Besides, it is simply irrelevant. I am going to pay my PTC Stormwater bill and then refuse to pay the county bill by citing the city bill. What are they going to do? Put a lien on my house?

Larry.Sussberg
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RWM : Haddix

You may be right....but Haddix is only interested in winning the election.
This has nothing to do with solving the problem he discussing because that's done by real communication - phone and/or meeting.

For 6 years Haddix has played these games, bringing few, if any real solutions to the table, only politics and garbage...and PTC suffers.

He finger points to others on TAX & SPEND but can't prepare his own budget!

PTC has 6 years of history with this guy, voters need to reflect on his behavior, leadership (or lack there of), skills used on the job (or lack there of) and decide if we are better today than when we elected him.

Voters should not react to 1 issue that he latches on to for populist gain but a complete and total record of failures, divisions, bad press, lack of leadership and let's not forget the tax payer money he took from us!

Robert W. Morgan
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I agree Larry, he's totally irrelevant. Won't get 100 votes.

It might be fun to watch the inevitable Brown counter attack against da mayor.

BTW, is is just me or was anyone else reminded of our mayor when the Mayor of Boston was sitting in his wheelchair mumbling about the city's response to the bombing? And did he ever get bigfooted by the Governor. Nobody did that to Mayor Rudy on 9/11, but Menino looked like he was given a cameo role in his own play and Deval Partrick became the star.

Allstar American
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but he didnt plant a seed

Of a good idea. He planted his usual turd if an idea. This is not double taxation for ptc. This would replace the current and expiring splost for roads and cart paths. With out spreading the burden to out of town shopper- who use our roads, we will need to raise the millage again.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Current SPLOST

There is no current SPLOST to replace. It expired three years ago. We have almost exhausted the residual funds.

Councilman Dienhart is proposing a new tax.

Spyglass
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So is my fair City spending SPLOST money now or not?

You say we are, then double talk about a double taxation. You really are clueless on this issue. What will take the place of the SPLOST money you say we are spending now and are about to run out of?

I've told you over and over, all you do by coming on these blogs is reinforce folk's notion of you. Here's a hint, it is not good.

Allstar American
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Spyglass

Two options to replace the SPLOST. Millage increase or increase of sinkholes throughout the town.

Spyglass
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I have stated here often, raise my taxes

I did not move to PTC for the things that we don't have. We must take care of our town.

Allstar American
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Why not approve the splost

Then out of towners help- they use our roads to drive here. May as well help pay for them...

Husband and Fat...
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I'm with Spy

I say no to the county splost, but I would willingly pay for my fair share of taxes if the city actually had a complete plan. To date this only addresses a small portion of the Clean Water Act.

The county already stated that the out of county fees would only account for 15% of the total costs. At some point everyone has to man up and pay their fair share. Unless one is a two time bankruptcy filer looking for a way to get out of paying their portion.

NUK_1
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H&F: Agreed

I do happen to agree with Haddix on being against the county SPLOST idea and his reasons why. While I totally disagree with him on most everything else, I think he's right here.

As far as PTC goes, I don't see the county SPLOST helping in comparison to what PTC would be contributing.

Hey, as Steve Brown said last week "don't trust your government." :)

Husband and Fat...
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NUK

The splost is a weak attempt to solve a long term problem. The county commission does not want to tell the real story. We are in this long term.

I understand why Brown did not discuss with Haddix beforehand, but he should have given him the courtesy even if he's just a lame duck.

Allstar American
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HusFat

I don't doubt for a second that he tried to contact him. The better question is why was is it so easy to contact George, Kim and Eric? Why would Brown only try these three Councillors? I don't think that's what happened. Did you ever try to contact our leadership via the website? There is one email address that goes to everyone. I am sure all were alerted that this was coming down the pipeline.

Husband and Fat...
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AA

I suspect that the chairman thought he would be able to have a rational conversation with those three. Doubt he even tried to contact the mayor for obvious reasons. Vanessa doesn't seem to have a clue, so Mr. Brown most likely just disregarded her.

I have contacted leadership via the website. Steve Brown (have to give it to him) is the best at responding. The others on commission all seem to let him handle it. The website is still not complete as they are missing Ognio. Details, Details.

City Council wise, George responds in a timely fashion. The mayor has responded to my inquiries, but I have to take his comments with a grain of salt. The others not much so.

The only one who has had the decency to respond to my concerns from the BOE is Mr. Presberg. The others if they do respond just give you the ole "we will take it under consideration" response.

Spyglass
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I agree, but folks

Will not vote for it,.

Allstar American
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You are being dishonest

"We have almost exhausted the residual funds"- in other words the actual spendable cash is running out now. So, in other words, this is replacing the revenue from the previous splost. You are a real piece of work. Say anything to give people the illusion that you are correct. I would much rather have those coming into Peachtree City to spend money (shoppers come in not just from Coweta- they also fill our hotels)share the cost of this than have another millage increase- caused by your lack of planning and leadership.

Larry.Sussberg
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Political Letters to the Editor/Blogs

Nothing will ever get done when you have a mayor incapable of preparing a budget, manage people and show leadership.

Letters to The Editor will not solve problems but picking up the phone or having a meeting to discuss and exchange ideas will!
Problem is...who is in charge in Peachtree City? Council has stopped communicating due to the lack of leadership from this mayor.

Why not pick up the phone and call Mr. Brown instead of shredding him in a letter to the editor! This is your normal operating procedure and it doesn't work! You need to show leadership not political gamesmanship.

NUK_1
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Got to 100% agree with Mayor Haddix here

He knocked this out of the park and he's right that this is the exact same idea that Brown has so adamantly opposed in the past as indeed what it is, double taxation for PTC residents.

The King of political flip-flopping strikes yet again.

Spyglass
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He's clueless

He admits on these very blogs we are spending SPLOST moneys for upkeep in PTC. They are two very different things. SPLOST for roads etc and the Rain Tax.

PTC Observer
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NUK_1 - Not that

Not that I support this tax, but how would you maintain infrastructure like storm drains and the such? Would you have a special tax for it?

NUK_1
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PTCO

You sure can't add it on to property tax bills as that really doesn't correspond to stormwater run-off, so a stormwater utility is about the only option that has a real methodology for assessing fees for stormwater maintenance,unless the Feds decided to rescind massively unfunded mandates, like that is going to happen!

I think the way PTC presently does it is about as good as you can handle it and even that is hardly a perfect solution. A lot of municipalities are pretty starting with a big negative from years of underfunding their infrastructures that they cannot overcome it by simply raiding the general fund....it's just to much money.

PTC Observer
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NUK_1 - Stormwater

I have been thinking about how we might find a way of "fairly" distributing a "tax" based on the EPA's regulations.

We use Google Maps to divide the county into sectors. The sectors would be drawn based on the city limits. Everything outside city limits would be divided by a calculation of the population, permeable land surface and impermeable land surface.

Each sector would pay a fee based on an audit of the expenses needed to keep the sector in compliance with the EPA regulation using the following process. The compliance specifications for each sector would be developed by the regulating agency. In this case I suppose it would be the Ga. EPA.

This specification would be the basis for quotations from competing companies. Competitive bid by at least three companies bidding on the contract would be required with the lowest bidder receiving the contract to maintain the sector. The citizens in each sector would be required to pay a fee based on the land surface that they own within the sector.

The outcome would be that those living in primarily rural settings would have less tax to pay than those with higher impermeable surface. Assuming that impermeable surfaces would require more money for upkeep.

Or we can simply disband the EPA and forget about it. Enforce property rights and let the courts decide if harm is done to private property by storm run off.

Husband and Fat...
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PTCO - it's a great start

It's a great idea and an important starting point. The Clean Water Act that initiated this whole debacle covers a whole lot more than pervious / impervious surfaces and storm piping. It deals with many more problems that need to be addressed to keep our waters clean. There is a retired gentleman who has been trying to educate our leaders for some time on this and they either don't want to listen, or understand but are afraid to educate the public for fear that they will be labeled as pro tax.

For instance, people with pets or farm animals have poop in their yards. When it rains, the poop is washed into the soil along with the bacteria which eventually makes its way into our water. When one has a large herd, it's compounded.

Farmers who use insecticides realize the same problem.

So pervious surfaces may not be as advantageous as many thought.

This tax is long term and will only rise unless the Feds loosen the reigns.

naturegrl
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I agree with the Mayor

Your comments are the most logic direct and to the point thinking. Mr. Brown and his gang of four only know the words, more taxes, answer to everything. All Mr. Brown could do his first two years of office was belittle the other commissioners. Sure hope a business person runs against Mr. Brown. Can't vote for this tax and spend man

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