Tag Archives: sales tax

Regional T-SPLOST agenda 2017-02-28

Even though Lowndes County voted 2 to 1 against T-SPLOST in 2012, and Southern Georgia Region 11 voted it down by 38,731 no votes (58%) to 28,217 Yes (42%) votes, a few counties in the region voted for it (Clinch, Atkinson, Coffee, Bacon, and Irwin). Also, Lowndes County had lots of transportation items ready to trot in case it passed. So it shouldn’t be surprising that five years later local governments in the region are considering rolling their own. It’s on this morning’s Lowndes County Commission agenda for voting Tuesday evening.

No, except Clinch, Atkinson, Coffee, Bacon, and Irwin

After hearing of it in the videos Gretchen took of the Lowndes County Planning Session Day 2 back in February, I asked the South Georgia Regional Commission and got this email from Corey Hull: Continue reading

Oppose reducing sales tax funding to local goverments –Lowndes County Board of Education against HB 170

According to Terri Welden at the Lowndes County School Superintendent’s office just now, the Lowndes County Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution against HB 170 last night. It reads in part:

WHEREAS, this Board urges the members of the Georgia General Assembly and our local delegation to strongly oppose any provision or measure to reduce allocation of sales tax funding to local governments;

Here’s the entire LCBOE resolution, which is quite similar to the ones passed that same night by the Valdosta Board of Education and the Valdosta City Council. What will the Lowndes County Commission do at its meeting tonight that still doesn’t even have HB 170 on its agenda? Continue reading

HB 170 would have a devastating effect on our community –Valdosta Board of Education

The Valdosta Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution against HB 170 last night and forwarded it to the local legislative delegation via email and on paper, according to Joy at the Valdosta School Superintendent’s office just now.

Not surprisingly, VBOE’s resolution looks a lot like the City of Valdosta’s resolution. Both were written before yesterday’s changes to HB 170, which still pit counties against cities.

The Lowndes County Board of Education unanimously passed a similar resolution also last night.

What will the Lowndes County Commission do tonight? And what will the Lowndes County Board of Education do Thursday?

Here’s the Rationale in the yesterday’s VBOE agenda:

HB170 has been introduced this legislative session. It proposes to remove the local tax on fuel and replace it with a tax at the distributor level which would be paid to the state. For Valdosta City Schools this would mean a reduction in revenue of approximately $1.8 million annually from ESPLOST. The total loss of revenue for the city and county governments and the city and county school districts would be approximately $12 million annually. If passed, this bill would have a devastating effect on our community.

And here’s the resolution: Continue reading

HB 170: counties vs. cities? @ LCC 2015-02-10

Yesterday a Georgia House subcommittee did exactly what Valdosta urged it not to do about distributing HB 170 funds. Given that LMIG mismatch between cities and counties to replace the previous mismatch of forced double taxation on cities and counties, is the legislature trying to cause dissension between counties and their cities, or is it just that inept? We know Valdosta’s position. What will the Lowndes County Commission do?

Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson wrote to bill’s sponsor: Continue reading

HB 170 voted out of subcommittee; what will Lowndes County Commission do? @ LCC 2015-02-06

How long will the Lowndes County government and ACCG wait to act, while the Georgia legislature moves on its stealth transportation tax hike for Atlanta that would defund local school boards and city and county governments? A House subcommittee has made some changes to the bill, but it would still force local governments to raise taxes, and it adds an unrelated repeal of an electric vehicle tax credit to its boondoggle for trucking companies and Atlanta. Do we want our local public schools to be defunded like wildlife programs were through the state’s wildlife license plate revenue tax taking? If not, now’s the time to lobby against HB 170, before the full House Transportation Committee meets Thursday. Yet there’s still nothing about HB 170 on the county’s agenda for this evening’s voting Regular Session.

Valdosta has already Continue reading

$12 million loss to local Lowndes County governments –text of Valdosta resolution against HB 170

Local schools would lose $4 million annually and local governments overall $12 million annually, 300x389 Resolution, in Resolution against  million tax local tax loss to HB 170., by City of Valdosta, 5 February 2015 because HB 170 would “re-allocate local sales tax funding from local governments to the state of Georgia”, resolved Valdosta’s Mayor and Council last Thursday. Plus HB 170 would effectively authorize “double taxation of municipal residents”, because both Lowndes County and Valdosta would have to raise property taxes, which would result in Valdosta’s citizens being taxed more twice (by both the county and the city). For how serious Valdosta considers this threat to its ability to provide services to local citizens, witness how fast this resolution got passed (within weeks after HB 170 was introduced into the legislature) compared to how long it took for Valdosta to pass a resolution against the Sabal Trail pipeline (about eighteen months).

Here’s the complete text of the Valdosta resolution that passed 5 Febuary 2015. See also Valdosta’s PR about this resolution, which contains links to the evidence, and Valdosta’s letter to the sponsor of the bill.

RESOLUTION NO. 2015-3

A RESOLUTION TO OPPOSE THE STATE OF GEORGIA’S
TRANSPORTATION FUNDING ACT OF 2015 Continue reading

Valdosta writes to legislature against HB 170 transportation tax grab

Valdosta City Council Tim Carroll sent a message Saturday with an attached letter from City Manager Larry Hanson to the sponsor of HB 170, strongly opposing that stealth tax hike. This is in addition to the resolution the Valdosta City Council passed against HB 170.

Carroll’s cover letter:

All,

Attached is a message Mr. Hanson prepared and sent to Rep. [Jay] Roberts regarding the proposed State Transportation Funding legislation or HB 170. Rep. Roberts is the lead sponsor of this bill.

As many of you have already heard, the Valdosta City Council adopted a resolution Continue reading

Valdosta resolution against GA HB 170 sales-to-excise transportation tax switch

While the Lowndes County Commission has no position, the City of Valdosta already voted to oppose the legislature’s HB 170 proposed stealth tax hike that would convert a local sales tax into a state excise tax, forcing local governments to raise property taxes.

Valdosta PR Resolution to Oppose the State of Georgia’s Transportation Funding Act of 2015,

Click here to view the Resolution to Oppose the State of Georgia’s Transportation Funding Act of 2015.

Click here to view the Local Sales Taxes Collected on Motor Fuel Sales by county.

The Valdosta Mayor and City Council unanimously approved Continue reading

Zero owed in 2010; why $8.9 million owed now on county palace? @ LCC 2012-12-11

If Lowndes County owed $0 (zero dollars) on the county palace in November 2010, why are we paying on $8,965,000 in bonds for it in December 2012? If that palace was “100% Paid by SPLOST” in 2010, why in 2012 is the county pledging our property tax dollars to pay those bonds?

Zero balance on the county palace?

In November 2010:

$22,380,000
Judicial Building Cost

$6,728,000
Administrative Building Cost

100%
Paid by SPLOST

$0
Balance Owed

So says a double-page flyer about “the Lowndes County Judicial & Administrative Complex” Flyer from November 2010 produced by the Valdosta Daily Times for Lowndes County in 2010 and signed “Highest regards, Joe Pritchard, County Manager”. There’s no dateline, but it invites the public to a dedication of the Complex “on Friday, November 12, 2010.”

Preliminary Official Statement Dated November 20, 2012 from Morgan Keegan about the $8,965,000 in Refunding Revenue Bonds (Lowndes County Judicial/Administration Complex) Series 2012, which says this:

The Bonds are payable solely from payments to be made by Lowndes County, Georgia (the “County”) pursuant to an Intergovernmental Contract, dated as of December 1, 2012 (the “Contract”), between the Issuer and the County. Under the Contract, the County has agreed to levy and collect an annual tax on all taxable property located within the County as may be necessary to produce in each year revenues which are sufficient to make the payments required by the Contract.

So which is it? Continue reading

Tanker truck turning from Hambrick Road onto Cat Creek Road, 20 June 2012

This tanker truck just barrelled down Hambrick Road faster than the speed limit and turned onto Cat Creek Road, even though Georgia 122 is less than a mile to the north, connecting to GA 125 (Bemiss Road) three miles to the east. Does this safety hazard to residents on a local road seem right to you? Yet this is the kind of thing Lowndes County T-SPLOST projects would promote.

Tanker truck turning from Hambrick Road onto Cat Creek Road, 20 June 2012
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE).

Remember, the county wants to make this problem worse by widening Cat Creek Road and adding turn lanes at Pine Grove Road, Radar Site Road, New Bethel Road, and, you guessed it, Hambrick Road. The county wants to turn Cat Creek Road into a highway and Hambrick Road into a feeder highway. That project got cut from the non-discretionary T-SPLOST project list, but T-SPLOST also includes 15% discretionary funding, which will probably go to some of the projects that got cut if T-SPLOST gets funded.

And it’s not just Cat Creek Road. Also on the original T-SPLOST list was $3 million to widen Val Del Road and $10 million to widen New Bethel Road to the Lanier County line. And of course still on the approved list is $8 million to widen Old US 41 North from North Valdosta Road to Union Road. Even though $7.5 million for a bus system was cut first pass.

Which do you want, a new 1 cent sales tax on everything including food going to projects that promote sprawl and risk public safety? Or, if we really need new transporation projects, a gasoline tax going to projects that actually would benefit the public, including businesses, such as a bus system?

-jsq