2008 Constitutional Amendments

Here they are. I think the only one I’m inclined to vote for is number three.

With regard to the first amendment, there is already some flexibility with the treatment of timber land.

With regard to the second, no way in hell do I trust my local school board with that right.

23 comments

  1. Decaturguy says:

    Erick, that would be the conservative Republican pro tax, anti-environment, anti-business development positions to take.

  2. Clint Austin says:

    Erick,

    All the TAD amendment (#2) would do is keep the law exactly the way it was before the one-man-lawsuit in Atlanta turned everything upside down.

    For 20 years, school boards have had the right to opt in to a TAD if the local voters chose to give them that right. The original TAD constitutional amendment was passed statewide by a huge margin 20 years ago.

    All Amendment 2 does is let the people make the choice (and not the courts) to let local voters have the choice to do it – again, with local voters approval – and does not let that choice be taken away from them by the courts and a one-man lawsuit.

    What’s wrong with that?

  3. Decaturguy says:

    I guess Erick approves of one man lawsuits that result in taking away the will of the people and their elected representatives in the legislative branch.

  4. Chris says:

    I don’t trust my local school board to do anything but name schools after themselves, much less important things like educating kids or managing development projects.

  5. IndyInjun says:

    Amendment 1 extends conservation use exemption to CORPORATIONS with no limits as to acreage. The existing CU exemption only applied to individuals and was limited to 2000 acres statewide.

    This is a TAX SHIFT to homeowners from Corporations.

    It is sad that this is the only “tax reform” on that ballot, yes?

    The people will vote themselves another tax increase out of ignorance.

  6. AtlConservative says:

    IndyInjun, can you explain how you see Amendment 1 as a tax shift, please? I see it as a win-win – lower taxes and win for the environment. So, please expound on your opinion or statement.

    Clint, I am against almost every TAD. PERIOD. TAD’s are really about “redistribution of wealth.” I have to say, I wasn’t so passionately anti-TAD until I moved to Atlanta and saw the reality of TADs. I love the idea of Atlantic Station, but when you have a concern about the safety of yourself or your belongings, it’s not a good investment.

  7. griftdrift says:

    Pretty easy to explain.

    “The General Assembly is directed to appropriate funds to local government to partially offset any loss of local revenue”

  8. bucky says:

    Would that be the same General Assembly that cant even find funds to pay the countues to cover the property tax rollbacks?

  9. Chris says:

    It would be the same General Assembly that saw fit to spend $19M on Sonny’s bass fishing hobby while at the same time deciding it had to raise taxes to build new roads.

    I wouldn’t trust them to manage priorities, no.

  10. OleDirtyBarrister says:

    The “one man lawsuit” business is amusing. That is the tact that liberals have used for years to end-run the democratic process in search of sympathetic judges.

    In the TAD case, at least the text of the constitution was involved. Moreover, who would want to let a little thing like the constitution get in the way of a good tax and spend scheme?

  11. Is #3 a sweetheart deal for developers? Are they asking for the state to pay for infrastructure development? Like, connecting to the water system? The developers currently have to pay for this right? And pay for the roads that go out there?

    Are they now asking for the taxpayers to pay that for them? I’m not understanding the purpose of #3.

  12. Clint Austin says:

    Here’s the history on TAD:

    In the 1980’s, a statewide constitutional amendment passed allowing the creation of Tax Allocation Districts (which means the Supreme Court this year used one part of the Constitution to overrule another part of the Constitution – don’t ask me how they did it, that’s why they are lawyers).

    The voters approved the statewide constitutional amendment by a huge margin. So the voters spoke, and everyone knew it would involve city, county, and school boards.

    Then, pursuant to the constitutional amendment, every single local government that has used a TAD had to get approval from the voters of that area in a referendum.

    Then, every TAD had to be specifically voted up or down by all the affected layers of government.

    That’s about as voter-determined and locally-controlled as any thing allowed by the Constitution of Georgia.

    Yet, because one gadfly lawyer in Atlanta gets his lawsuit upheld in the Georgia Supreme Court, all those layers of voter and elected official approval don’t mean squat.

    And worse, good guys like Jim Wooten start pretending that TAD’s have JUST NOW involved the use of future, uncollected school tax revenues – when they have involved this all along, for over two decades.

    All Amendment 2 does is re-establish what the voters approved statewide – and on a local basis – dozens of times since the 1980’s.

    Not really that controversial when you dig into it…

  13. Elmer Gantry says:

    I’m pro-TAD and voting for the second amendment. It’s not redistribution of wealth, because it’s allowing for the creation of wealth that wasn’t ever there (without the redevelopment). Clint Austin, keep spreading the good word.

  14. Truthteller says:

    How about some public disclosure here Clint Austin.

    You failed to tell everyone that you are getting PAID to help pass TADS.

    Erick, it is important that you hold people’s feet to the fire to honestly disclose when they are getting paid then blog here.

    This blog wasn’t just “for the good of the Republic”. There’s never been any blogging here on this until payments were made…FOUR days ago.

    From Ethics website:

    “Georgians for Community Redevelopment, Inc.
    On Target Public Affairs
    10/17/2008
    Expenditure Consulting Service $0.00 $10,000.00”

    This TADs proposal is a loser and would only pass with big bucks pushing it through. It wouldn’t stand on it’s own merits.

    I think it will likely fail anyway.

  15. Decaturguy says:

    That is the tact that liberals have used for years to end-run the democratic process in search of sympathetic judges.

    Well then it seems like the “conservatives” have caught onto this tactic quite well, then.

  16. Clint Austin says:

    Truthteller,

    Everyone in politics knows I have lobbied for TAD’s, and everyone knows I get paid to do work in politics. By the way – if you really looked at the disclosure, you will see there is very little “big money” behind the effort. It’s mostly a grassroots operation.

    Here’s the real question: are you disputing any of the facts I cited?

  17. IndyInjun says:

    AtlCon-

    The existing CU exemption is a $180 million shirft of taxes from timberland private owners to home and business owners.

    So you want more?

  18. bowersville says:

    A1-No
    A2-No
    A3-No

    And Clint why would a conservative vote for a TAD? Tell me please, why is a government funding of private enterprise on the ballot in a Republican controlled state?

    Do you think us tads out here are going to keep on supporting you Barnie Frank, Chris Dodd Republicans in the state house? Huh?

  19. Icarus says:

    “Is #3 a sweetheart deal for developers? Are they asking for the state to pay for infrastructure development? Like, connecting to the water system? The developers currently have to pay for this right? And pay for the roads that go out there?

    Are they now asking for the taxpayers to pay that for them? I’m not understanding the purpose of #3.”

    Here’s my understanding of amendment 3. Anyone else feel free to jump in and correct where necessary:

    Let’s say a developer has a large tract of land located in a county (or city), and it’s big enough that it would require a lot of infrastructure ($$$’s) to develop, and will take many years to build out.

    Developers generally can’t get bank financing for multi-year payback infrastructure costs, and local governments don’t usually put in these items for developers (streets, sewer, water, rec facilities, etc.).

    Under this amendment, the developer can now go to his county commission (brother-in-law?) and say “You know what Bubba, I think if you give me one of them Infrastructure Development Districts, I can build us a real nice subdivision, you won’t have to worry your pretty little planning department about it at all, and I’ll give you a real nice tax base”

    So the commission grants the developer an IDD, who then issues bonds to cover streets, water, sewer, golf course, aquatics facility, all with a suitable profit margin to reward the developer for his efforts, of course.

    Then, when the houses don’t sell as well as you would have thought McMansions would in a new swim/golf community in Hahira, the developer skips to vegas with his secretary, the county gets stuck with a bunch of bonds, and the five residents dumb enough to buy into this subdivision have HOA dues from hell.

    Is that about right?

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