Keen: GREAT Plan To Curtail Ecomomic Growth, Solve Our Water Problems

From Dick Yarbrough’s column in the Gwinnett Daily Post in a question from Yarbrough about how to solve the water crisis created by growth in North Georgia:

Keen said the answer is House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s tax reform initiative, known as GREAT (“Georgia’s Repeal of Every Ad Valorem Tax”). It is Richardson’s idea to do away with ad valorem taxes and expand taxes on sales, uses and services. The monies collected through the tax would then be distributed to the local counties and cities and to local schools.

“This plan,” Keen said, “would be an incentive for cities and counties to control growth and would give property owners a major relief from ever-increasing property taxes.”

So isn’t what Keen is saying, in essence, is that one of the reasons we are in a water crisis is because of the amount of economic growth we’ve had in North Georgia? Therefore, we need a way to curtail this economic growth and one way to do it is through House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s big government, anti-local control, big tax increase on everything, otherwise known as the GREAT plan?

Might want to rethink this strategy.


  1. Donkey Kong says:

    Anytime politicians, especially Republicans, talk about curtailing growth, it kills me. No, actually, it kills the poor.

    Go to Athens to see the result of a lingering anti-growth political climate–median household income of just over $28,000 and over 28,000 people–28.7% of the population–under the poverty line.

  2. souldrift says:

    How about we just manage growth, not control? Why do Republicans freak the F out when anyone suggests the rampant cancerous growth of the metro Atlanta area be managed better in any way?

    Is it really the case that what we’re doing now is working that well??

  3. maestro7 says:

    Clearly, the drought situation that we face in Georgia is the culmination of years’ worth of inaction at all levels of government.

    Personally, I have long since tuned out of the “newsworthy” propaganda about symptoms; it’s time a real leader actually takes the initiative of creating solutions for this and a myriad other issues.

    The fact that the G.R.E.A.T. plan is being logically tied to the drought situation vis-a-vis population growth is more a testament to someone focusing on a solution to a symptom of the problem, not the problem, per se.

    Nevertheless, if we were to consider population growth and the G.R.E.A.T. plan, I would posit that the State would have to plan for orders of magnitude greater growth than before, where growth always presents a [good] problem to have (i.e.: “Hey! GA has next to no property taxes! Why pay property taxes where we currently live?”).

    I’ve always believed that a “use/consumption” tax is a far superior methodology of taxation versus an income tax for numerous reasons, not the least of which is that it gets the government out of the business of trying to figure out what you do to substantiate your income. Further, I believe that it’s the responsibility of everyone to help with the upkeep of government, not just those who happen to own a house, a car, or have enough income to pay an income tax.

  4. Still Looking says:

    If you grow without planning, you end up short of water, caught in traffic and sending your kid to a school trailer. Sound familiar?

    In some states, the local government facilities must be in place before growth can occur so that the quality of life is maintained as the community grows. In some states, they insist that new development isn

  5. To be polite, Keen’s reasoning is moronic. If county revenue is distributed solely by a population formula, the counties will rezone to add as much population as possible. Which is not a good water solution.

    Right now counties have the power (and tax incentive) to zone for their future. So they wisely may set aside some land for conservation and other land that could be residential for commercial because commercial landowners pay higher taxes and also employ the residents that live in the county.

    It sounds to me like Keen’s plan would encourage counties to zone a ton of residential with no place for those residents to work. On the other hand, without the ability of a place like DeKalb county to offer any tax incentive to an industry (and also to say hey we spend more on our schools than say Irwin County) why wouldn’t an industry just to go Irwin where the land/wages are cheaper?

    In other words, the GREAT plan is just a massive sop to rural Georgia with a big F-you to metro Atlanta. Is anyone surprised by this?

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