Will Fayette raise taxes?

With costs up, other option would be to raid county’s cash reserves

The Fayette County Commission has set aside two days to dig into the proposed 2011-2012 budget and the various related recommendations from county staff.

The commission’s workshops will start at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 23 and Tuesday, May 24. No ending time has been announced for either day.

The budget recommended by County Manager Jack Krakeel is 1.6 percent above the figure approved for the current budget, he informed commissioners recently.

The budget increase is necessary because of the significant escalation in healthcare costs, both for employees and also for inmate healthcare at the Fayette County Jail, for starters, Krakeel said.

Fuel costs are expected to jump $300,000 alone, he noted.

Meanwhile the county’s tax digest is slated to take about a 4 percent dip this year, meaning a shrinkage in anticipated property tax revenues, Krakeel said.

With declining property taxes, and an increased budget, the commission is likely facing a tough decision: raise property taxes or fund the difference from the county’s reserves?

The budget includes no new staff positions despite a request for 17 new personnel, Krakeel said. County departments have been under a hiring freeze for the past several years, with an exclusion for public safety personnel.

That has meant that as employees have resigned or retired, in most situations they have not been replaced with a new hire; instead the workload is spread out among existing staffers, officials have said.

Typically the commission’s budget workshops involve a great amount of detail about each individual department’s budget requests for the coming fiscal year.

Also expected at the budget hearings this year are presentations from the county’s various constitutional officers, whose budgets are set by the county commission.

moelarrycurly
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Ga. has just changed SPLOST rules and

localities can now change the projects on the lists OR take the $$ and pay down debt? With all due respect to The Citizen, I find the article below very interesting:

http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/law-lets-counties-dro...

Now, does that mean that the 58 million left (as of March 31st) in the 2005 SPLOST could be used to pay down county and city debt in Fayette, instead of being spent on the "projects list"? Go to:

http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/road/SPLOST_Information.htm

and click on the link on the left side that says "SPLOST Distributions and Expenditures" to find the 58 million already collected in tax money.

If the article is correct, we, the voters, could vote (in a referendum) and choose to pay down existing debt and/or rollback property taxes, instead of going ahead with projects on the original SPLOST list.

Am I the only one wondering why, if this was voted on at the beginning of May by the state, I am only just now reading about it? And not hearing about it from the Fayette management?

AtHomeGym
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MLC & SPLOST Changes

Just a quick read tells me that no "vote" has occurred--it was legislation, signd by the Gov, that will ALLOW counties to vote for those changes in SPLOST fund usage. Kicker--as I see it--is that local officials (to me that means County commissioners) have to recommend and approve a vote before anything happens.) Maybe I'm wrong in my assessment. But if I'm not, don't look for any change soon!

wheeljc
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WHY CAN WE NOT CUT? DO WE HAVE TOO MANY RINOs??

Why is it so difficult for government to add CUTTING as an option? Citizens are doing it daily!

Have the commissioners considered the consequences of growth in Fayette if they go along an increase taxes? Seniors have not had a COLA increase to their social security for two years, and for retired federal employees, the same is also true. Think that it is also fair to say that other retirees in the community have not had their best years financially given the economic decline. The Fayette County School system has noticed a decline in student population (as reported by The Citizen) in recent years. Do we want to encourage others to leave? If anything, we should be cutting taxes to attract more to this County!

Is our county government filled with too many RINOs? If not, let's hear some initiatives to do some serious cutting at the upcoming Commissioner's meeting!!

ginga1414
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Roundabout, All I Want

is for the citizens of Fayette County to wake up and stop our officials from throwing good money after bad. I want them to stop spending our hard earned money on useless projects like the WFB and empty schools.

I want them to stop ripping out traffic signals and putting in roundabouts.

Our county officials have been living under delusions of grandeur.

roundabout
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ginga

You mentioned "hard earned money" by you and others being spent.

What are you doing to "hard earn" it? That money was collected with every sales taxable item bought for years. Most people voted for tat tax.

Most of that tax was paid by middle and low income people when they purchased nearly anything over several years. They paid even more of it than did the rich, because there is so many more of them.

An empty school seems to be a distraction to many. I doubt there was any collusion between developers and the school board when that happened.

That was caused by two things: failure to recognize that Fayette would stop growing as fast as before, and that the economic policies of the last Washington administration allowed banks and other moneyed corporations to go too deeply into debt not backed by proper earnings or assets!

The school board believed bankers and others when they told them that banking was a business too big to fail. Also, that soon Fayette would have 200,000 people and a practically unlimited budget. Maybe 50 more banks would be built!

We were living in a credit economy and their was insufficient good assets to back the credit.

It is my humble opinion that some in that administration knew that collapse was coming, had to know, and they just hoped to get into the next elections before it collapsed.

I realize all that you want is no by-pass or insufficient damage money to make up for it. But it doesn't hurt to learn something.

BHH
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Roundabout you are right in that

Coweta and Henry are the economic engines we need to connect to. Not Atlanta.

They are still experiencing phenomenal growth in spite of Atlanta's drain on the metro area's resources.

PTC continues to block and avoid every opportunity at better access to the benefits of Coweta county as our neighbor.

Fayette county can't see past their turned up nose toward Clayton county long enough to recognize the benefits of our proximity to Henry county.

There was once a move to unite the southern counties under the term "Southern Crescent" but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.

We don't need better access to the northern leaches but should build better relations with the east west and south of our county.

ginga1414
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Where Is Our Creative Accountant, Now?

I think we all knew during last year's election that our former Commission Chairman was doing one of the things he did best and that was creative accounting. Where is Jack's surplus, now?

"With declining property taxes, and an increased budget, the commission is likely facing a tough decision: raise property taxes or fund the difference from the county's reserves?"

And, yet, they continue with the West Fayetteville Bypass!!!!! THE WEST FAYETTEVILLE BYPASS IS GOING TO COST THIS COUNTY APPROXIMATELY $30,000,000.00!!!

People can't afford to build or buy houses. Folks are still losing their homes and declaring bankruptcy. There are empty schools and retail buildings all over Fayette County. There continues to be a significant decline in the student population.

And, yet, they continue with the West Fayetteville Bypass!!!! THE WEST FAYETTEVILLE BYPASS IS GOING TO COST THIS COUNTY APPROXIMATELY $30,000,000.00!!!!

Higher property taxes just means more folks will be losing their homes. The more homes lost to higher property taxes means even less tax revenue.

And, yet, they continue spending our 2004 SPLOST money on the $30,000,000.00 Veteran's Parkway f/k/a The West Fayetteville Bypass!!!!

suggarfoot
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it is foolishness

I'm sorry the developers bought land on the bypass, hundreds of acres of it. I'm sorry Smith and Smola built schools for the developers, (hubby and buddies), but the end of the story is...that is the developers problems and Smith and Smola's headache for re election.

IT IS NOT THE TAXPAYERS BURDEN..ALL THE ABOVE PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT OURS...IT ISN'T..

We can't afford more taxes and should NOT be asked to pay them. The bypass needs to be stopped. It is a road that is NOT needed at this time.. It is ONLY a road to help the developers unload the land they bought...just like the schools that we paid for were SELLING tools for the developers... We should have NEVER paid for them.

To tax us more is stupidity...and if the public accepts the taxes...then the public is stupid.

Come on...we were stupid in who we elected..Commissoners...a doper and a Jesus freak that can't have a conversation without implying the devil is gonna get you cause he (Hearn) has the only inside track with God. Horgan just looks out into space...and Frady...just noddsss and snoozes.

On the BOE ... we have Smith, the wifee of a developer, and Smola that never finished college. There is not a teacher in our system that doesn't have more education that she! Yet these are what are deciding the fate of our money and our kids.

Now I'm gonna evoke Jesus myself!!! "please help us...we need it..please"

PTC Observer
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Ginga1414

That's because we gave them the money through a SPLOST, now they have come up with a way to get our money for this kind of thing through a "regional" SPLOST.

We have two representatives that supported this regional tax, Senator Chance and Rep. Ramsey. Want to re-elect them?

Get ready for more roads to nowhere.

roundabout
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ginga

I don't think a dime of that SPLOST money can be spent on anything else but roads and related costs!

Now if you want a bigger cut of the 30 million, just say so and we will try and help you get it. How much is it?

(another story): Today President Obama sent a billion dollars to Egypt to keep them from collapsing! Because if they collapsed we would have to occupy Egypt, run it, and fend off the Muslims!
However if he had sent that money to Fayette County for the landowners along the Fayette bypasses, the SPLOST could be spent for another road somewhere: I suggest we connect Fayette to Henry County! There is no way currently to get there in a day!

grassroots
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County Dilemma Is Not Tax Payers Problem

Maxed out property taxes and 10 years of SPLOST and E-SPLOST is enough. I just spent two years finally getting mine lowered to the actual adjusted assessment. Let's not forget that the BOE has lots of money to play with from that other scam E-SPLOST. Roll money that's being wasted over there to the county as to not have to raise property tax.

BHH
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Not interested in raising taxes or using reserves.

Let's start cutting back and see where this sick economy comes to rest. Then we can decide what we must have and what we must live without.

Temporary layoffs and parking as many vehicles as possible will do the job. Turning some full time positions into part time will help too.

I'm not sure about the medical needs of the jail but why can't that come out of the drug money confiscated from arrests that helps to fill the jail? The Sheriff could do without some of the flashy new toys that come from these proceeds.

Spyglass
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Keeping non violent criminals out of jail would save how much?

I wonder if anyone has ever thought about that?

Nah, lock'em up. Then feed them, care for them, blah, blah, blah.

Robert W. Morgan
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Drug money - good idea

Cutting costs would be a good thing, but government has no one who has ever cut back on anything, they are more about spending. So let's get creative about that confiscated drug money. Surely if they can buy cars and helicopters with it, they should be able to buy gas with it to run those things.

Next step would be to sell the extra cars and helicopters and use that money for things we really can't do without.

Might be good to look harder for the drug money. 4 or 5 big raids a year could raise a couple Million dollars.
And, BTW, what do they do with the drugs they confiscate? Just lock them up? What a waste. Some have a street value of millions of dollars. Why not send somebody up north to Detroit for example and convert the drugs to dollars. Perfect job for Fayette County Marshalls.

BHH
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Morgan, you are more creative than I imagined.

Does your talent have no bounds?