Tough times ahead for local governments

The money isn’t coming.

Gov. Sonny Perdue said Tuesday that homeowner tax grants have helped fatten local government coffers but have been “ineffective” in driving Georgia’s property taxes down.

Perdue has frozen the $428 million in grants that had been set to go out this year as the state scrambles to close a budget shortfall. He said Tuesday he’d like to see the grants, which local officials say average about $200 to $300 per household, scrapped altogether.

Relatedly, this story has how much the losses to counties will be.

7 comments

  1. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    And yet we continue to provide special-interest tax breaks. Anyone remember a few years ago when the General Assembly provided tax breaks for the construction of the new World of Coca Cola? Seriously, does Coke really need a tax break?

  2. jsm says:

    “Seriously, does Coke really need a tax break?”

    Emotional response–no way!

    Principled response–I think the tax break was more about making sure the venue was built in Atlanta rather than some other place that was willing to provide tax incentives. The Gen Assy decided that the revenue gained by allowing this tax break would be worth it in the long run. It might be, on a smaller scale, similar to the tax incentives given to Kia so that they would build a manufacturing plant in our state.

    Regarding the larger issue of the thread, I still don’t understand why we send money to the state just to have it sent back to our local government to give us “tax relief.” That money should have stayed in the taxpayers pockets instead of filtering it through inefficient government bureaucracy and sending back what’s left.

  3. Decaturguy says:

    Another tax and spend Republican. Does Sonny propose reducing wasteful spending? Nope. Just like when he was first elected, his first instinct is to raise our taxes. Except this time, he doesn’t have the guts to even tell us he’s raising our taxes to our face … he tries to slide it through the back door by blaming local government.

    Another Republican tax hike.

  4. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    JSM, good point. But do you really think Coke would build it in another state or even outside of GA? I’m just tired of companies essentially trying to shake us down or expecting a bribe. Sports teams do it too, “Build us a stadium, or provide the funding, and we won’t relocate to another city.” I realize some teams have relocated, but I still don’t like the shake-down. 🙁

  5. jenlongstreet1 says:

    JSM,

    I think the larger issue of the thread was that we aren’t getting a tax break. In fact in my county, the commission is deciding whether to send a second bill to taxpayers in January

    What we need is a special session. I know that it would make some legislators vulnerable, but in any other year those guys would already be back.

    How much more can we take?

  6. newdayinga says:

    Well at the risk of being a front page post I will comment again.

    The bottom line is either we cut spending or we raise taxes. Obviously the Governor and Leadership have decided to raise taxes. I spoke to my Representative last week, and he told me that the homestead wasn’t a freeze. That money will not be coming back.

    So yes Jen if you live in Hall County, we will probably be getting a separate tax bill.

    I guess JSM will say that it isn’t their fault, but members of the General Assembly were screaming about this for the past two years. Bottom line they overspent and maxed out the credit cards. Now we are going to have to pay for it.

    Wait for it here it comes….

    If you want something different,vote different…

  7. jsm says:

    “But do you really think Coke would build it in another state or even outside of GA? I’m just tired of companies essentially trying to shake us down or expecting a bribe.”

    I don’t like the shakedown either, but it’s part of the world we live in. I doubt Coke wanted to build anywhere else, but money talks when another city/state is trying to pull you.

    I imagine our 5th in the nation ranking for doing business is partly due to available tax breaks. We have to compete to bring companies here so that good jobs are available. We can cut the corporate tax breaks, and then watch valuable jobs go to other states. It’s a catch-22.

    “I think the larger issue of the thread was that we aren’t getting a tax break.”

    jen, I don’t disagree. I’m just saying that this convoluted system is messed up. Had this money not been sent to the state to start with, the governor wouldn’t have the ability to stop it from coming back. What kind of sense does this make? This is one very important reason people rejected the GREAT plan–they didn’t want their money going to the state to be dispersed back to municipalities.

    “I guess JSM will say that it isn’t their fault, but members of the General Assembly were screaming about this for the past two years. Bottom line they overspent and maxed out the credit cards.”

    NDIG, don’t put words in my mouth. I can speak for myself. BTW, I’ve yet to see your candidate list one thing he would cut in state government. Until he does that, your ranting is moot.

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