Ending double taxation

David Shafer wants to end double taxation on residents of municipalities:

Under my plan, counties would tax for the services that they provide (sheriff, courts, etc.). Cities would tax for the services that they provide. If you live a city with its own police department, why should you pay a second time for a county police department?

This is a piece of common sense legislation that needs to be passed by the General Assembly, but Shafer notes that county governments aren’t to happy about it.

You can view the proposed amendment here.

Shafer wants to know your thoughts on it, drop by this blog and throw in your two cents.

17 comments

  1. joshdondich says:

    I hope Sr 248 gets signed into law. Double Taxation is uneccessary by any government entity reguardless of local, state or federal. Keep up the good work Senator Shafer.

  2. I dunno, on the one hand it certainly sounds like it makes sense, and maybe it makes sense with what’s going on in Fulton County where there essentially won’t be any unincorporated areas left very soon.

    I live in Chamblee and I suppose I pay twice, but I also am no longer in Chamblee when I drive for about 90 seconds in any direction. The DeKalb County police are a real presence to me.

    So I’m not sure this is as clean cut. The counties are always going to be pissed about anything that takes away any of their power, but they may have somewhat of a point here.

  3. Sounds like a good bill, but I’m going to have to read it before passing judgement. Interestingly enough, the subject of double taxation as well as taxes in general has come up at the town hall meetings regarding the City of S. Fulton.

  4. atlantaman says:

    That’s what is insaine about Fulton County. You’ve actually got folks that want to create more county government by dividing it in two – when the whole county is basically going to already be incorporated.

    I like Shafer’s bill, but would want to see it go a step further for Fulton. Why not change the whole Fulton County charter to where the county is limited just to the court system, Grady, and a few other things that make sense for the county – instead of creating more and expanding exisiting government fiefdoms.

    His bill would gut a lot of Fulton’s waste, but not all of it.

  5. Erick says:

    I agree in principle with this concept, but unfortunately, with the example of the sheriff’s office, the sheriff still has jurisdiction in municipalities. Should we also prohibit residents of the city and county from paying taxes to fund the state police?

    I really like the idea, but I think police should be exempt. In Macon, for example, while there are frequent jurisdictional disputes, the county sheriff’s department frequently performs law enforcement in the city that the city either does not bother to do or cannot do.

  6. Cities cannot have sheriffs, so the sheriff is exempt.

    But many larger counties choose to have county police departments in addition to the sheriff. Why should a municipal property owner who already pays for a city police department pay a second time for a county police department that will not respond to his home or business?

  7. bowersville says:

    What will be the end result in rural areas of Georgia?

    Our local services and taxes are so convoluted that a formula will have to be worked out among the incorporated areas and the county.

    A few examples:

    1) The towns provide full time fire protection in town and back-up services to the county. The county, through volunteers and equipment, provide back up to the towns.

    2) The county provides EMS service for the county and incorporated areas.

    3) The county provides a recreation department for all.

    4) The sheriff’s office operates the only jail (the towns pay a fee per individual in detention, but it’s nominal).

    5) The county is responsible for the court house operations and facility, but serves all.

    6) The sheriff’s office provides back-up to local police departments.

    7) The county provides funding & owns the building for the local library which is in town.

    8) The county operates (with funding assistance from the state) the local shelter for domestic violence victims.

    I’m all for eliminating double taxation. I just don’t want my taxes raised because I live in an unincorporated area to compensate those that live in incorporated areas. I not saying this will raise my taxes. I saying I don’t know.

  8. bowersville says:

    Our county is currently going through an audit of it’s property taxing practices by the DoR (finally after a 5 year struggle) and we are fighting for an independent audit of re-assessment of all properties within the county, which includes the towns.

    Which brings up another issue, the funding of the independent audit, and the entire property tax process.

    Again, I don’t know.

  9. The county would effectively have two budgets — one for services provided countywide and one for services provided only in parts of the county.

    The courts and sheriff are countywide functions under the state constitution.

    The other services would depend. A fire department would be a countywide function, unless a city chose to have its own fire department. A library would be a countywide function, unless the city chose to have it own library system. Same for a domestic violence center or anything else.

    The proposed amendment contemplates intergovernmental contracts. For example, a city could contract with a county for fire protection services (as the new City of Sandy Springs currently contracts with Fulton County). Property taxes collected by the city would be paid over to the county for services provided under the contract, but city taxpayers would not be taxed a second time for services already paid for once.

  10. atlantaman says:

    I’ve been thinking about Shafer’s bill a little more. In terms of wasteful government spending, if you want to kill the beast cut off the flow of money.

    I also like Rep. Lindsey’s efforts to form a Fulton study committee to discuss what is actually needed on the county level if all the municipalities are incorporated.

  11. Mad Dog says:

    I see the great man, Sen. Shafer is wasting no time on spring break.

    If he really wants to match taxes to services, let him send the dead judge a tax bill for the death penalty case.

    Brian Nichols isn’t demanding justice. He doesn’t want justice. It’s the damn victims chewing up tax dollars insisting the government deliver justice.

    Bill the victims, Senator Shafer for the price of justice.

    Same logic as double taxation, death taxes, and the idea that citizenship is free. It’s government that costs. What a mental perversion the GOP goes through to detroy logic.

    If you’re too stupid to get my point, email me.

    I’ll take you by the hand and walk you through it.

    Mad Dog

  12. MountainThinker says:

    bowersville,
    I’d really appreciate it if you and I could speak more in-depth about your county’s property tax situation…I think it might have possible ramifications for things in my county as well, but would like more insight into your situation before making any broad assumptions. Shoot me an e-mail to southerngi at yahoo

    As for Sen. Shafer’s legislation, especially considering his further clarification above (Thanks Senator!), I’m in 100% agreement. Smart business practices should be implemented into government whenever and however possible. Keep up the good work!

  13. Mad Dog says:

    Mountain Thinker,

    Smart business practices like selling cancer sticks to children?

    Paycheck loans at 300 percent interest to the military?

    Back dating options, false revenue and loss statements, overstated inventory, and a turnover rate among business of 4 out of 5 every five years.

    Not going to mention moving our capital to Dubai to be closer to Halliburton’s new headquarters.

    MD

  14. MountainThinker says:

    Mad Dog,
    Your rhetoric is a viral and erratic as the hydrophobic canine moniker of yours implies.

    I would think “smart business practices” would not automatically make one think of criminal wrong-doing, or gross mismanagement/incompetence but perhaps, oh I don’t know “SMART BUSINESS PRACTICES”

    I can only assume that given your illogical lashing out at business in general that you’re at best a disaffected laid-off former employee of a less than brilliant mega-corporation (understandable, but don’t paint with such a broad brush), or an outright Communist, in which case anything you have to offer is so devoid of intellectualism that someone should do you and all of us a favor and put a Mad Dog out of it’s misery…

  15. Mad Dog says:

    Mountain Thinker,

    So the phrase smart business practices is a throw away line? You couldn’t find any recent news articles on “smart business practices” to rebutt the headline making ‘smart business practices’ that I pulled from the news?

    Therefore, in your logic, anyone that can’t give meaning to ‘smart business practices’ is a communist, lazy, unhappy, disaffected, that has only one brush and shouldn’t use the term smart business practice.

    And, still using your brush, than maybe you shouldn’t use terms your elite intellectualism can’t objectively define.

    Woof

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