Archive for June, 2009

The issue is taxes

I would support …

  • A property tax increase
  • Discontinuing C-Tran service
  • Furloughs and/or layoffs
  • Something else

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At a time when most would prefer to see taxes lowered, Clayton residents showed up at last week’s public hearing to let our Board of Commissioners know that they support a property tax increase. This came on the heels of a joint statement issued by four of the five commissioners’ to vote against a 2010 budget that includes layoffs and furloughs of county employees.

Our current base millage rate is 13.453 mils, one of the lowest in the metro Atlanta area. It is speculated that the millage rate needs to be raised at least three mills in order to maintain the status quo. Anything less and we could suffer the same fate Atlanta has – loss of services via layoffs and furloughs of county employees. And even if furloughs were implemented, the revenue saved would not be enough – Clayton residents would still lose …

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Furloughs coming to Clayton

Like most local governments, Clayton county may be forced to lay off and/or furlough employees due in part to the economic downturn. As per the AJC, the proposed 2010 budget will be almost $10 million less than last year’s, if approved. Some employees could be furloughed for a few days each month, and others will lose their job entirely. This is not a good sign for residents either, who will undoubtedly lose some vital county services in the process.

Clayton residents currently pay some of the lowest taxes in Georgia. This may be great for individual wallets, but might not be the best solution for the needs of the county as a whole. And while some residents believe the only way to improve this area is to raise taxes, others don’t trust those in charge to do the right thing with any extra revenue received.

Should Clayton county taxes be raised?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I’m not sure

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The proposed 2010 budget can be viewed weekdays between the …

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Fourth time the charm for CCPS?

The Clayton County Board of Education will hold two meetings today (at 1058 Fifth Avenue, Jonesboro) to discuss various financial issues they face.

The first will convene at 4 p.m. to address potential cuts of the local supplement for teacher salaries in the proposed 2010 budget. As per the Clayton News-Daily, “One result of such a cut would be that, while teachers would move up a step on the state’s salary scale, their salaries would remain the same as they are in the current fiscal year.” Public input will be heard on this issue.

The second meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. will deal with a fourth Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax sought by Clayton County Public Schools, concentrating specifically on school repairs and maintenance. This new SPLOST is expected to generate about $268 million in revenue. If the vote passes, our BOE will need approval from Clayton’s Board of Elections and the U.S. Department of Justice in order to proceed. Residents will then be asked to …

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Taste the best restaurants in Clayton!

Stately Oaks Plantation will once again host its annual Taste of Clayton event for the 18th straight year. Restaurants from both Clayton and Henry counties will provide the eats.

“The good thing is we have franchise restaurants but also a lot of local mom and pop places,” says Jan Turner, a member of the Taste of Clayton committee. “This is such a good way for them to get their product out to the community.”

Participating eateries include: Chick-fil-A , Frontera Mex-Mex Grill, Louisiana Catfish Kitchen, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Oakwood Café, Cracker Barrel, Honey Baked Hams, Butch’s Chicken House, Costco, Simply Southern Tourism, and Anderson Diner. New restaurants featured this year are: O’Charleys, Sam’s Wholesale Club, Gezzo’s Surf & Grill, Incredible Southern Poundcakes, Da Dancing Pig Hickory BBQ, and caterer Let’s Do Lunch.

Celebrity Chefs include Commission Chair Eldrin Bell and Chuck Ware, who will serve up their own dishes. In addition, this year the City of …

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To appeal, or not to appeal?

When we appealed our tax assessment earlier this year, I didn’t expect much of an adjustment. However, our property taxes were decreased 15% thanks to that initial appeal.

Since what the county assessed is still higher than what we believe our property is actually worth based on neighborhood foreclosures and sales, we’re going to continue appealing and see what happens. You can estimate what your tax bill will cost on the county Web site.

If you haven’t already taken steps to continue the appeal, here are your choices:

-Go to the Tax Assessor’s Office (in the Old Courthouse on the second floor – (770) 477-3285; 8 AM to 5 PM) and talk with an appraiser in person to negotiate a lower rate. If you come to an agreement, you will fill out a Value Agreement Form and be locked into that rate for the next three years; or:

-Write a letter to the Clayton County Board of Assessors (P.K. Dixon Annex 2, 121 South McDonough Street, Jonesboro, 30236-3694) stating your desire to …

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