One of the most influential lawmakers in the Legislature weighed in on the Gwinnett County Commission’s proposal to raise property taxes by a minimum of 25 percent.
And he’s not happy.
The message from state Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville): A tax increase in one of the most Republican counties in the state will cost all five commissioners their jobs.
“If they pass this on Tuesday, they will not last to the end of the year. A recall is hard to do. In this case, it would be easy to do,” the lawmaker said.
Balfour is chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and controls much of the legislation that passes through the General Assembly. He said that by passing the tax increase, the commission threatens the standing of every other Republican elected official in Gwinnett.
Balfour conceded that the commission had met the letter of state law, which requires three public hearings before a vote. But he didn’t think two public hearings held yesterday met the spirit of things.
“To have two of the meetings on the day after Memorial Day?” he asked. A third hearing will be held next Tuesday, before the scheduled commission vote.
“They need to do crowd control at the next one. There may be 1,000 people there. Talk about a tea party,” Balfour said.
Here’s a report on yesterday’s hearings from my AJC colleague Pat Fox.
If you see Balfour in the next day or so, give him a pat on the back. Not for stuff above — he’s got his position, you’ve got yours. But Balfour just saw his 22-year-old son Trey off for Afghanistan this past weekend. Never did anything harder, he said. Never was prouder.