They certainly are arrogant and wasteful, but your chance to vote them out has come and gone. Since only 1700 of the city's 20,000 registered voters actually went to the polls nothing has changed. Apparently nobody cares. It's business as usual in Hinesville. The only ones to blame are those of you who sat on the couch instead of excercising your right to vote and change course.
I called the taxers a few years ago and asked the question that since property values were plunging throughout the country, why were OUR property taxes going up? The answer was that property values in our area had not decreased, and had in fact exhibited a slight INCREASE in the prior 24-month period.
I haven't followed up on this lately. Since the state no longer reimburses for the Homestead/Kemp Deloach Williams exemptions, taxpayers have gotten a double whammy in recent years: Taxes have gone up due to loss of the exemption as well as increased property values. If we're going to get any tax relief, it's going to have to come from somewhere else.
This is where the SNEAKY PAY RAISES, boondoggles to China and St. Simons, and Ghost Buses make no sense. Taxpayers must demand that this wasteful spending CEASE. I'm for rolling back the salaries of the mayor and city council to their pre-raise levels, since the only reason they were increased at all was because the incumbents could arbitrarily vote a raise for themselves.
Is that HONESTY? Is that FAIR to the taxpayers? You decide, but it's another reason that the voters made a big mistake this week by returning the bums to office.
Think about it. And don't waste the next opportunity to make a change.
You need to appeal your property tax assessment! I can tell and show you how to do it.. I have my down to a little over $19,000 value. The home values across GA have dropped 10% over the last year I can see it going down more. Remind me around tax time and I'll explain the process.. then the city will really be in a world of hurt.
I've considered it, and am aware of the procedures. I live on a "typical" residential street; that is, I own a single dwelling home in a developement of about 30 or so similar homes. All homes are between 25 - 30 years old and share similar construction and floor plans, and the lot sizes are roughly the same. The assessors have grouped all of the homes - with some variations for additions and conditions - very closely together in value. When any of the homes sell, the asking and sales prices are fairly close. If I appeal mine, I'm bucking the similar structure/condition/age/lot size of all the homes close by. My gauge of the neighbors is that it is very unlikely that they will follow suit and appeal their assessments if I do, but it's possible I could be wrong.
In theory, the tax assessors, appraisers, and real estate agents aren't supposed to "work together," but with the way things are, it's difficult to dispel the notion that these groups AREN'T as thick as thieves.
The mayor made a telling comment in his post election "celebratory" comments. He said that it is a "relief" to have the election process complete, with the current city council intact. “That way we’re not on edge, and we can go ahead with our plans for the city,” he said.
Translation: I'm comfortable with the current crew, who I know are in my pocket and who I know I can dominate and intimidate to get what I want. We don't need any new ideas, or any people who will instigate change.
Well...tomorrow's a new day, and the next election will be another opportunity for change. Hopefully the residents of this community will take advantage of it.
....and here's a community - albeit a very small one - that really DOES believe in change:
I don't care what your evaluation is your taxes will increase at a rate equal with the increase in the budget of the taxing authority.
If the budget increases at a percentage which is greater than the percentage of increase in the digest (value of the total taxable property in the county) then your taxes will increase at an equal rate.
It has been my observation over many years that only a handful of our commissioners and council members even understand how this happens.
Yet we continue to re-elect those who deliver new things for the people in their district.
We have become sheep.
TOT: Yes - the system is set up to facilitate SPENDING, and it always seems like the first choice is always to raise "revenues" rather than figuring out how to eliminate waste. In the case of our community, the wasteful and unnecessary are not simply "in the eye of the beholder." You have to consider cost-benefit and actually WANT to do things more cheaply.
One thing Dubya always had right in principle (even if he didn't adhere to it in practice) was that TAX REVENUES ARE THE PEOPLE'S MONEY, and the people can usually better decide how to spend it than the government can.
Got it! You care about community change when it affects your wallet! Not Schools or opportunities for kids. Well, you keep electing them. You want change make change don't talk about it! Elect only those who push for budget reduction and cutting the fat, waste!
WRONGO. I care about community change when I see mismanagement, incompetence, or malfeasance - whether it affects my wallet or not. And I have spoken out about it repeatedly in other blog strings. However, the basic blog string here opened the discussion on wasteful spending and tax reduction. Those are WALLET issues. Most issues that affect the people in this community and which they get riled up about are wallet issues. People who have been discussing it here are only following the lead of the basic blogger. I'm sure that it's not the ONLY thing that posters care about, but it IS what the basic blogger initially addressed.
Believe it or not, it is a matter of blog COURTESY to actually discuss what the basic blogger has introduced as a topic of discussion. Sure, that rule is not strictly applied to around here, but when it is, you should understand why.
If you want to take a different slant in the discussion, go ahead. But it pays to read other people's posts carefully and to understand the protocols, so as not to appear obtuse when you do.