Tag Archives: sales

HB 170 to convert fuel sales tax to excise tax at local government expense @ LCC 2015-02-05

HB 170 is a stealth tax raise by the state that would force county and city governments to vote for higher local taxes. The Transportation Funding Act of 2015 is bad news according to every city councillor and county commissioner I’ve heard from.

Harrison Tillman estimated about $335,000 reduction in taxes to the county and a $12.6 million overall loss in revenue in his presentation yesterday morning to the Lowndes County Commission Annual Planning Meeting. Commissioner Demarcus Marshall and Chairman Bill Slaughter went to Atlanta to talk to the proposers of this bill, with little effect.

Here’s ACCG’s HB 170 writeup Tillman used, and Continue reading

Are Augusta and Richmond County special in transparency?

So why does Augusta have the second highest high tech job growth in the country? I can only speculate, but local government transparency could be a factor. If you had a high tech company and were looking to open an office, would you go for a place where you couldn't tell what the local governments were up to, or one where you could easily find out? Augusta's combined City Council and County Commission meetings (it's a consolidated government) are on video, online. Their agendas are available in either HTML or PDF, with attachments.

Here's an example, their 5 December 2012 Commission Meeting. It includes a proposed amendment to their land subdivision code. The actual proposed ordinance is linked right into the agenda so everybody can see it.

And yes, they link attachments into their agendas before their meetings; here's Augusta's agenda for their meeting tomorrow 18 December 2012, already with attachments, such as this one about a zoning exception, which was apparently submitted on a standard agenda submittal form, and approved by the Clerk of Commission.

Meanwhile, the outgoing Lowndes County Chairman complained the Chamber of Commerce hadn't read a proposed zoning code change even though that change is not linked into the agenda (nor is anything else) and last year the same Chairman said no drafts would be published. Tuesday last week, Lowndes County Commissioners passed changes to the solid waste ordinance and to the alcohol ordinance that voters and taxpayers and business owners did not get to see before the Commission voted on them. Those ordinances seem to be on the county website now that it's too late to provide input on them: alcohol and waste. Both ordinances were revised with no public hearings. And the Chairman even forgot to hold a scheduled public hearing on special tax lighting districts. Oh, and they apparently now have property owners paying on almost $9 million in bonds for a county palace that only two years ago they said was already completely paid off out of sales taxes.

If you had a high tech company and were looking to open an office, Continue reading

JC Cunningham against the charter school amendment and for HD 175

JC Cunningham, running for Georgia House District 175 against incumbent Amy Carter, spells out his opposition to the charter school amendment. -jsq

Video by George Boston Rhynes for bostongbr on YouTube.

Actually, it's even worse than JC indicates, because because HB 797 specifies more money per pupil for charter than for public schools, and the difference has to be made up out of local sales or property taxes.


If Southern Company’s nukes are a good deal, why so many insider stock sales?

If the Southern Company’s slick nuclear financing deal and its ongoing operation of three of the country’s dirtiest coal plants (two of them in Georgia) is such a good deal, why are so many insiders selling so much stock?

Maybe SO CEO Thomas A. Fanning needed that $12.4 million he got back in January by selling 275,617 shares at $45.0693 per share for a new yacht, or a new wing on his house, or something. A brief scan of nearby energy companies (Duke and Progress) indicates it’s not unusual for an energy company CEO to sell shares, although mostly not for this much dollar amount. $12.4 million is more than twice Fanning’s 2010 salary of $6.02 million, and well more than his 62% raised 2011 salary of $9.75 million that Georgia Power customers get to help pay for through Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) charges for the new nukes at Plant Vogtle that won’t be built for years, if ever.

But what’s with two SO subsidiary company CEOs, Mark A. Crosswhite, President and CEO of Gulf Power ( #206 on the Forbes Global 2000 in 2010) and Edward Day VI, President and CEO of Mississippi Power Company ( former engineering group supervisor at the Hatch Nuclear Project) selling a bunch of stock in April? Also there have been only a couple of puny little purchases, each of less than $30,000, in the past year. Why so much selling and so little buying by insiders?

Maybe new nukes are an increasingly bad business risk for Southern Company and Georgia Power. Perhaps some economic expert can help with this question; how about Moody’s? Maybe Georgia Power customers and Georgia and U.S. taxpayers and voters have an opinion?

I wonder what will happen to SO’s insider trading patterns when SO’s illusion of certainty of profit from nuclear and coal eventually becomes obvious even to their board and shareholders as actually a big risk, and when SO realizes Cobb EMC made the right choice for profit by ditching coal plant plans and building solar plants instead; when SO finally suddenly switches to solar like Cobb EMC and Austin Energy already did. Will insiders decide SO’s stock has become a good buy when SO builds solar and wind plants?


T-SPLOST public meeting in Valdosta Monday morning 19 September 2011

The next T-SPLOST public meeting is tomorrow morning:
Monday, September 19, 2011; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; at the Valdosta City Hall Annex; 300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, Georgia; presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m.
These meetings are intended to gather public input:
After the public meetings the Roundtable will reconvene to review the public comments and adopt a final Constrained List that will be presented on the ballot to voters in 2012.
If you can’t go to the meeting, you can send in the public comment form or email Corey Hull at the SGRC.

I don’t know what you might want to comment on, but a couple of things that come to my mind are:


T-SPLOST public meetings coming up in a few weeks

The public meetings for Transportation Sales Tax Project List are coming up in a few weeks. The one in Lowndes County is:
Monday, September 19, 2011; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; at the Valdosta City Hall Annex; 300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, Georgia; presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m.
There’s a meeting in Fitzgerald later that same day, and an earlier meeting in Waycross on Wednesdday, September 7th.

If you’re interested in saying something about the 50% increase in the Old US 41 North widening project or about some of the other projects still on the constrained list, this would be the place to do it. You can also send in written comments. Here’s contact information.


Sunday alcohol sales last night was first reading in Valdosta City Council

Two comments yesterday morning:
Just for clarification purposes – this will be the “first reading” on this issue. No vote will take place tonight. It will be placed on our next council meeting agenda later this month for the second reading. That is when it will come to a vote.
-Tim Carroll
Thanks for the clarification, Mr. Carroll. At the reading today, I hope to present to you and all of the other fine leaders of our city the signatures gathered thus far.
-Alexander Abell
Here is Alexander Abell’s previous letter, which includes a link to the petition.


Suniva’s 500 new jobs went to Michigan

According to Sven Gustafson in mlive.com, 7 Oct 2009, Georgia-based solar panel maker Suniva to create 500 jobs at new Michigan plant in Saginaw County
A Georgia-based maker of high-efficiency, low-cost solar panels plans to open a manufacturing facility in Saginaw County after state officials approved a new photovoltaic tax credit. The project, which is still subject to a federal loan, is expected to create 500 jobs.

The Michigan Economic Growth Authority in a special session Tuesday approved the credits for Norcross, Ga.-based Suniva Inc. The company will get a $15 million refundable credit against its Michigan Business Tax liability over five years in exchange for its planned $250 million investment.

Suniva manufactures photovoltaic solar panels. It was getting so many orders it needed a new plant in addition to the one it has in Norcross, Georgia. Those 500 jobs and $250 million in investment could have come to Georgia. Maybe they could have come to Lowndes County. I haven’t been able to find any local government or appointed official who tried to get it to come here.

Suniva is still ramping up production in Georgia. They may eventually need a third plant. Maybe somebody should talk to them.