Finance Director Stephanie Black said they were having public hearings because they were required to when raising the millage. She said some of the reasons for the raise were a decline in the Local Option Sales Tax revenue, “because of the TATV” a decline in motor vehicle revenues, and a decline of 1.88% or $56 million in the property tax digest. TATV appears to be Ad Valorem Title Tax, which changed with HB 386 becoming law 1 March 2013, changing annual TATV to a one-time tax at vehicle purchase, and that new tax goes to the state, not the local government. As you can see in the Millage History slide pictured, they did Continue reading
On Lowndes County’s website there’s no agenda for tonight’s Planning Commission Work Session, even though the City of Valdosta’s calendar lists that Work Session for 5:30 PM Monday May 23rd 2016 at South Health District Administrative Office (former Lowndes County Administration Building), 325 W Savannah Ave, Valdosta, GA 31601. Presumably the Hahira rezonings and annexation will be discussed. And will County Manager Joe Pritchard say this morning at 8:30 AM at the Lowndes County Work Session that he has received an annexation letter from Hahira?
Neither of these Monday meetings are public hearings: the public can attend, but can not speak. See previous post for when the public hearings are.
Received Friday 5 January 2016:
The kick-off public hearing for the joint Lowndes County and Cities of Dasher, Hahira, Lake Park, Remerton, and Valdosta 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update will be held on:
Tuesday, January 19, 2016, 5:30 p.m.
Lowndes County South Health District Administrative Office
325 W. Savannah Avenue
The purpose of this public hearing will be Continue reading
Even though the County Commission already voted on the budget for spending your tax money (and still hasn’t published that budget), it will have public hearings on the millage before final adoption of that number that decides how much tax you pay. While the proposed millage rate is still low compared to other counties it’s curious that while the Lowndes County Board of Education has published at least a summary of its new budget the Lowndes County Commission has not.
Not two, but three public hearings on the LCBOE higher millage rate, 10 AM and 6 PM on July 15, 6 PM on July 22. That rate still puts Lowndes in the middle of school millage for counties statewide. And they published a budget summary before the hearings.
Kristin Finney wrote for the VDT today, Lowndes schools approves budget: System ups millage rate, picked up by AP as Lowndes schools approves budget, Continue reading
He also called to be sure LAKE got this, and the Public Hearings Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:30 PM are in the City of Valdosta’s online calendar, plus there’s a much briefer story in the VDT today, and see the millage table from last year’s budget hearings. -jsq
It is that time of year when your city government prepares its’ budget for the upcoming fiscal year. As we have experienced over the past four years, this year’s budget presents many challenges. Revenues continue to decline while expenses keep going up. Fuel alone for the city now runs around $1.7M per year and the power bill to run the city for a year is now at $3.4M. Like you have seen in your homes and businesses, these and other costs continue to rise. Major revenue sources such as the LOST tax (our largest revenue source for the General Fund) continue to decline. And the list goes on. The city has now tapped over the past several years all the reserve funds in or der to balance the budget. Those reserve funds are now gone.
I say all this to illuminate the difficult choices that are present in this year’s proposed budget. While Continue reading
Today is the last day to comment to GA EPD about Georgia Power’s demand for more new water for the Plant Vogtle nukes than Savannah uses. As Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning said two years ago, “water, more than air, is the issue of the future”. Comments may be emailed to EPDComments@dnr.state.ga.us with the subject line “Plant Vogtle.” See below for videos of what people said at a recent public hearing.
Fan of local government Gretchen suggested it “check our work” before whipsawing citizens in for items that didn’t happen or failing to schedule a public hearing even after the Chairman asked for it, plus failing do deliver what was promised in open records requests, at the 12 November 2013 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session. Today she’s checking their work at their secretive Retreat Work Session.
At the Regular Session she noted that the Sabal Trail item that was misscheduled for the previous morning caused several citizens to take off work to come in for something that didn’t happen. (You can find out more about that pipeline Saturday morning at 10AM at the SpectraBusters Informational Meeting.
This time the County Engineer said Lovell was the only qualified consultant for an ecological and environmental study (because of what requirement we don’t know), for a land swap (for what we don’t know), not funded by the county (funded by whom we don’t know). You the taxpayers and people potentially affected by any ecological and environmental problems: do you think you might want to know? They vote tonight about what was proposed at the 26 August 2013 Work Session of the Lowndes County Commission.
Invisible County Engineer Mike Fletcher said he had received a proposal from Lovell Engineering Services for the 62.49 acre tract just north of the existing skate park Parks and Rec owns and just north of the old rest area.
The county Tax Assessors maps don’t show any tract of that size near that location, but they Continue reading
Citizens still wanted to talk about solid waste after the Commission adjourned the Tuesday 11 June 2013 Lowndes County Commission Regular Session. Commissioners offered nothing but excuses.
Commissioner Page asked for Mr. Wright to stay behind so he could talk to him. The Chairman adjourned; I didn’t hear or see any motion or second or vote. Aren’t those required by state law?
The subsequent excuses included:
It’s not about right or wrong anymore.
Nevermind that most of the people in the room thought it was, as well as many of the citizens and voters in the county.
We have to follow the process.
Nevermind they didn’t hold Continue reading