Category Archives: Taxes

Videos: Bandit film, air conditioning, insolvent taxes, Fender Road Improvement Project, VLPRA @ LCC 2021-06-08

Just before adjournment, County Manager Paige Dukes said the Bandit film continued filming downtown. She answered Commissioners Demarcus Marshall and Mark Wisenbaker saying the new millage letters were going out, with the exemption for the new fire tax, At the June 8, 2021, Lowndes County Commission Regular Session.

Everything passed unanimously.


[Chairman, Finance, Attorney, Griner, Manager, Audience]
Chairman, Finance, Attorney, Griner, Manager, Audience

The Minutes record the County Manager also said in Reports:

Mrs. Dukes stated staff will be meeting with our Southern Marketing Coordinator, with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Beth Meeks next week regarding a Farmer of the Year recognition. Additionally, Mrs. Dukes mentioned State Court Judge, John Edwards, was notified that Judge Melton has sent the last order extending the emergency order for the courts through June 30th. Lastly, Mrs. Dukes commended Mr. Tye’s leadership in providing a renewal of our ‘storm ready’ designation in Lowndes County; Mrs. Dukes asked Mr. Tye to give the commission an update. Chairman Slaughter stated this would not have happened without the partnerships with emergency management and thanked Mr. Tye for his efforts and dedication.

See also the LAKE videos of the preceding morning’s Work Session, and the agenda and the board packet.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist. Continue reading

Budget Meetings, LCC 2021-06-21

Lowndes County, GA, has a budget Public Hearing today at 5PM, and a Special Called Board of Commissioners Meeting on June 29th to approve the budget. It will include the new fire special tax collection district, the one that is causing tax assessment notices to go out again with corrections.

As usual, the draft budget is not on the Finance Department web page. Probably if you go down to the Commission office and wheedle, they will point you to one bound copy you can look at.

[Two budget meetings]
Two budget meetings

Here is the agenda for today’s budget meeting, which is just before the Continue reading

Videos: air conditioning, Insolvent taxes, Fender Road Improvement Project, VLPRA @ LCC 2021-06-07

Air conditioning, a quit claim, and, by far the longest, those incorrect tax assessment notices were the big items at the most recent Lowndes County, Georgia, Commission Work Session, June 7, 2021.

[Manager and Chairman, Demarcus Marshall, Engineer]
Manager and Chairman, Demarcus Marshall, Engineer

See previous post for the agenda and the board packet.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, followed by a LAKE video playlist.

Continue reading

Videos: Insolvent tax list tabled, Lowndes Co. Dev. Auth. Reappointments, subdivision infrastructure, wine license, radios, bottled water, trucks, clothes washers, mowers, tractors, backup generator

Two weeks ago at their May 25, 2021, Regular Session, Lowndes County Commissioners unanimously approved everything except one agenda item. They tabled Tax Commissioner Rodney V. Cain’s request to write off $437,823.30 in insolvent taxes.

Insolvent list, Tax Commissioner

At the Monday, May 24, 2021, Work Session, Cain said the insolvent taxes were because the seven-year statute of limitations had been exceeded, or property had been moved out of the county. He said Gander Mountain accounted for half of the total. (I compute that at slightly less than 40%.) This item is back on the agenda for this morning’s Work Session and voting Tuesday evening, June 8, 2021.

At that previous Work Session, Cain seemed rather vague about details such as how much might need to be written off next year. He also did not say why he had not dealt with this earlier, even though he was first elected in November 2016. (His opponent in that election, Felicia Williams, is now an appointed Tax Assessor.)

In response to questions from more than one County Commissioner, Cain did say most Tax Commissioners deal with this annually, and he plans to do that from now on.

Cain previously made statewide news for Continue reading

Insolvent taxes, Fender Road Improvement Project, air conditioning, VLPRA @ LCC 2021-06-07

The agenda for tomorrow morning’s Work Session and voting Tuesday evening doesn’t actually list the $437,823.30 insolvent tax writeoff as “BUDGET IMPACT” but it seems like it must affect the budget of Lowndes County, Georgia.

What would you guess would be the biggest insolvency for business closed, things moved somewhere else, etc.? Mobile homes? Paving? Real Estate?

Cost What
$618,767.14Fender Road Improvement Project
$437,823.30Insolvent List – Tax Commissioner
$28,842.00Agreement for HVAC Service for Additional Lowndes County Buildings
$1,085,432.44Total

Nope.

[Insolvent tax writeoffs, Fender Road Improvement]
Insolvent tax writeoffs, Fender Road Improvement

On page 21, Personal Property, GANDER MOUNTAIN COMPANIES has three lines of base + interest + Penalty + FIFA and in one case they actually paid the base tax. So the nets for each of the three lines add up as $16,917.55 + $82,256.20 + $74,203.57 = $173,377.32. That’s just shy of 40% of the $437,823.30 total. Maybe big box stores are more of a risk than the county and cities have been taking into account. Continue reading

Lowndes Co. Dev. Auth. Reappointments, Insolvent property, subdivision infrastructure, wine license, radios, bottled water, trucks, clothes washers, mowers, tractors, backup generator 2021-05-24

Less than a million tax dollar expenditures to be decided upon Tuesday after discussion Monday, by the Lowndes County Commission. Not counting future expenses from accepting streets for a subdivision, and not county almost half a million in insolvent taxes to be written off.

[Wine license, Subdivision Infrastructure]
Wine license, Subdivision Infrastructure

Cost What
$274,780.32Purchase of Trucks for Various Departments on State Contract
$236,056.00Bid for Four (4) Tractors for Public Works
$71,600.00Bid for Four (4) Bat-Wing Mowers for Public Works
$60,421.00Bid for Washers/Dryers for Fire Stations
$47,500.00Val-Tech Booster Station Generator
$6,000.00Bids for Bottled Water Service
$696,357.32Total

This, Acceptance of Infrastructure for Two Oaks Subdivision Phase II, will result in ongoing tax dollar expenses for sending school buses, sheriff, fire and rescue, and repairs to water and sewer and streets. But the County Commission never counts that in its budget. They also don’t count as related however many millions they’ve already spent preparing roads, water, and sewer for a subdivision.

Also not included is the $437,823.30 to be written off the tax rolls as insolvent, due to statute of limitations, moved property out of the county, etc., at the request of the Tax Commissioner.

Not the same as the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority: “The terms of Commissioner Clay Griner, Mr. Crawford Powell, and Mr. Barry Broome to the Lowndes County Development Authority will expire on June 8, 2021. They have all expressed an interest in being reappointed.”

I wonder what this was about, in the May-10-2021-Work-Session-Minutes.pdf”> Minutes of the previous Work Session? “County Attorney, Walter Elliott, requested in writing, that the regular session minutes be revised regarding the motion to enter the executive session meeting.”

The board packet, received in response to a LAKE open records request, is on the LAKE website: https://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-05-24–lcc-packet

Here is the agenda.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, MAY 24, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Subdivisions, quit claim, fire tax district & draft pit, Chambers A/V, deannexation, resurfacing, soccer complex, shooting range shelter @ LCC 2021-04-21 2021-04-12

A couple weeks ago Lowndes County approved almost $3 million dollars in expenditures, including $110,147.78 for Commission Chambers Audio and Visual Upgrade, even though other counties and cities livestream their meetings using an iphone and facebook live.

[Rezoning, quit claim, audio-visual]
Rezoning, quit claim, audio-visual

Cost What
$1,811,758.00North Lowndes Soccer Complex Phase II
$429,634.23Resurfacing of Various County Roads
$304,252.00A New Shooting Range Shelter for the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office
$225,329.00A New 30,000 Gallon Draft Pit for Lowndes County Fire Rescue
$110,147.78Commission Chambers Audio and Visual Upgrade
$2,881,121.01Total

The shooting range was actually not listed as BUDGET IMPACT, but it comes from SPLOST taxes, so I don’t know how it’s not part of the budget.

Not marked as costing anything was the rezoning for REZ-2021-04 Union Station on Union Road, “for a multi-family housing complex to be constructed,” even though that sprawl will cost in sending fire, sheriff, and school busses out there.

Also not counted was Acceptance of Infrastructure for Creekside West Phase 6 & 7 for which “All roads will remain private. Lots will be served by Lowndes County water and sewer.” So if a water or sewer line breaks, the county will have to pay to fix it. And see above about sprawl.

Here is the agenda. The entire board packet is on the LAKE website, received in response to a LAKE open records request.
http://www.l-a-k-e.org/govt/loco/2021-04-21–lcc-packet Continue reading

Roads, Water, and Taxes @ LCC 2021-02-22

Four million dollars in tax money discussed this morning, to be voted on at 5:30 PM tomorrow (Tuesday) by the Lowndes County Commission.

[Table: Four Million Dollars]
Table: Four Million Dollars

Yet their video cameras seem to be broken and I haven’t seen anything about paying to fix them or buy new ones. Meanwhile, Valdosta City Council started online through an iphone, and numerous other counties in Georgia and Florida have made their meetings accessible online.

Cost What
$1,974,139.00Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) Loan Application for the Lake Park Bellville Road Widening Project
$1,875,000.00 Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) Loan Application for Lift Station & Manhole Rehab Project
$219,000.00Approve Purchase of West Savannah Avenue and Briggs Street Properties
$168,880.00Purchase of Wetland and Stream Credits for Old US 41 North Widening Project
$59,500.00Contract with Condrey and Associates, Inc.
$34,024.64Request for the Purchase of Motorola Radios for Public Works
$19,167.00 Approval of the Solicitor General’s VAWA Competitive Grant Award
$10,195.00Approval of Hightower Road and Cooper Road Right of Way Purchases
$6,000.00GMASS Rural Land Maintenance Contract
$339.00Just Compensation – Right of Way Parcel 10 Hightower Road and Cooper Road, TSPLOST Project
$4,366,244.64Total

We don’t know where are the lift stations or manholes to be financed through a GEFA loan for $1,875,000, but I’d say that’s a good use of funds. Not so sure about the $1,974,139 for relocating utilities for widening Lake Park Bellville Road, because I’m not clear on why that road needs widening. I do wonder why sewer and drinking water improvements have to be funded through loans while road building gets tax funds.

Here is the agenda. The board packet is on the LAKE website, received Friday in response to a LAKE Open Records request.

LOWNDES COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
PROPOSED AGENDA
WORK SESSION, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2021, 8:30 a.m.
REGULAR SESSION, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2021, 5:30 p.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor

Continue reading

Lowndes County Budget Meetings 2019-05-07-09 @ LCC 2017-05-07

Lowndes County is holding its Budget Meetings this week. Typically Commissioners and staff hear from all departments, agencies, and Authorities that get tax funds collected by the county.

When: 8:30 AM – 4:15 PM Tuesday, May 7, 2019
8:30 AM – 2:15 PM Wednesday, May 8, 2019
8:30 AM – 2:45 PM Thursday, May 9, 2019

Where: Commission Chambers,
327 N. Ashley Street 2nd Floor,
Valdosta, GA 31601

All three Lowndes County calendar posts note:

Meetings could potentially run longer than the scheduled times.

I would guess one topic that will come up will be the remaining projects in SPLOST VII.

SPLOST VII pie chart

As usual, Continue reading

Videos: Taxes, water, sewer, LAS, paving, road abandonment @ LCC 2019-03-12

Five minutes and 46 seconds Sixteen minutes to vote on the people’s business in the Lowndes County Commission Regular Session. Where do they actually discuss things?

By far the longest item at three minutes and fourteen seconds was 5a. REZ-2019-04 Southeastern Freight 2120 West Hill Ave., C-H/R-1 To M-2,, and that only because somebody spoke in favor of the request in the Public Hearing.

Second longest at one minute and 46 seconds was the controversial 7 a. North Lowndes Spring Creek Utility Inter-connection Project Phase II, for which they made a decision about the yellow paper. They still never said who the rest of the bidders were, nor how much they bid, on this $3,889,825.23 project.

Below are links to each LAKE video of each agenda item, with Continue reading