This is usually the moment that the local politician or commentator makes the statement about how people feared that their homes would be broken into and their tv set stolen and taken away on a bus or train. It’s a tired example, and an inaccurate example. Continue reading
Council Members:I am asking you to vote against the rezoning of the properties located at Bell Road and 141, which is on tonight’s agenda.This location has become another Ground Zero for gridlock in Johns Creek. We now have four traffic lights over .7 miles, from Skyway Drive north to Johns Creek Parkway. During morning and evening rush hours, I have used Google maps to track the commute times through this area and the average time to travel this very short distance averages 8-9 minutes, and I have seen it as high as 11 minutes to get through the four lights. That is less than 10 miles per hour through this area. Normal travel should be three minutes, according to Google. As the City also uses Waze(a Google product), I hope that you accept that data as accurate.The much higher density that the rezoning will allow will only make this issue worse. Anecdotal suggestions that this development will not make things worse are not fact based. We do not know exactly what or how the tenants that choose to live there will act on a day to day basis. We can only make assumptions.The only way that this property can be built to this density is with your approval, and ignoring the comprehensive land use plan.Isn’t it time we put the current residents of Johns Creek ahead of those residents who may not even live here in Johns Creek and might become tenants of this development?I’ll be frank. Living in the Medlock Bridge neighborhood, I will not even consider traveling north on 141 between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., unless I am headed to City Hall. It’s not worth the hassle.Please make the right choice and reject this high density rezoning case.I also encourage you to ask just how many additional units are permitted by giving the zoning variances versus what the property currently allows. The height variance, for instance, allows for how many more units? What is the difference to what our zoning would allow as it stands today, and what they are seeking?Does this equal 10, 20, or even 50% more units?If the CLUP needs to be changed, then we as a community should change it first. We should not continue to “variance” ourselves to an ever higher density in Johns Creek on a case by case basis.Respectfully,Ernest Moosa
“Individual income tax collections for the month increased by 11.5 percent, while gross sales tax collections deposited during November rose a minuscule 0.2 percent. Net sales tax revenue fell by 1.3 percent.
Corporate tax revenues in November increased by $5.1 million.”
There’s what you need to know in a nutshell.
Gross sales tax collections rose only 0.2% in November. Net Sales Tax Revenue fell by 1.3%. That says recession.
In an economy that is based on consumption, consumption must outgrow everything else.
The individual tax collections will soon follow suit as well as corporate tax revenues.
If people are not spending more money, companies do not make as much profit. Companies that do not make as much profit do not need as many employees. Fewer employees means lower income tax collections.
The state of Georgia did pass a Billion dollar transportation tax earlier this year. We have begun to see that impact. Taking a billion dollars out of gross receipts and sending it to the state, rather than to the bottom line of companies and into your banking accounts as savings has a cost.
We will see that cost in full glory shortly. The tax, however, will not be reversed.
What we will see is everything else blamed, from warm weather to cold weather, to the strong dollar to …..
The truth, however, is much simpler. Governments that tax too much destroy their own economic engines.
Recently, the City of Johns Creek passed a resolution effectively saying they would not support an increase in the MARTA sales tax, which is and has been collected in Johns Creek since MARTA was formed.
That decision has led to the usual bellowing of racism. Racism is on the path to becoming the argument of first resort when people, generally on the left, do not get their way. It used to be the argument of last resort, but why wait?
I am sure that there will be people that claim that my views are biased as well. They would be wrong. I graduated from Georgia State University, and I took the train from Hightower to Georgia State daily. Even then, it took longer by train than by car. Which is generally true for a lot of MARTA versus car travel cases.
For example, Windward Parkway in Alpharetta to the Atlanta Airport would take 42 minutes at 1:33 p.m. on 11/23/2015. By bus/rail? One hour and 27 minutes(if you get there as soon as the bus arrives). Click on the link below, and it will show you current travel times by both modes.
We are often told “Look at how successful the METRO is in Washington, D.C.”. Of course that system is successful. It was designed and built the proper way a transportation system should be built. MARTA took a different path. Well they basically took two paths: North-South and East-West. That’s their failure. That they have continued to this day without modifying that plan is why MARTA is not and cannot be the answer.
Have a look at the two systems. Here are the maps for each:
Washington’s METRO has multiple 8 spokes to their transportation system. Those 8 spokes three separate transportation circular routes that allow passengers to get to where they are going without the need for everyone to transfer at one primary station if they need to change directions while traveling.
This system is a functional system, and provides for additional expansion because they can connect any two outer spokes, creating another circular path, when the demand is there.
The Washington Metro was started in 1976. It has:
- Six Lines
- 91 Stations
- 117 miles of track
- 712,843 passengers per day
Atlanta’s MARTA system is shown here:
MARTA was started in 1971:
- Two Main Lines
- 38 Stations
- 48 miles of track
- 438,900 passengers per day
- No new stations since 2000
As you can see, there is no connectivity between the two main spokes, except at Five Points. There are no circular paths for patrons to take to get to their destination.
This also creates another major problem. If MARTA has a failure between Lindbergh and the Airport, or between Holmes and Indian Creek, it disrupts all traffic and buses muse be used. The Washington METRO allows riders to pick another route if one of the stations happens to be on one of their circular sections of track. Continue reading
Recently I received a campaign flyer for an opponent of Stephanie Endres that was factually and blatantly untrue.
Recently, I was at a restaurant and ordered a salad. Being Gluten-free, my options are generally limited. $10 for a salad I could make at home for $3 was ok. After all I was at the beach.
“How many would you like?”, Alex asked.
I could smell the ocean from where I sat. “Six is good”, I replied.
A few minutes later, Alex came back to the table, and said “Just wanted to give you the heads up that the shrimp are $3.50…..each”.
How does one keep a straight face with that sort of news? Better yet, how does one not laugh hysterically?
How do I keep a straight face as my friends watch what I might say.
For the record, I have not made any progress towards my $5500 deductible for the current plan year-I have not been to the Doctor for any reasons.
That’s what makes it even more shocking. My premium has gone from $273.31 to $497.01.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Here’s a calculator you can use as well. Depressing, isn’t it?
Obamacare: The Gift that keeps on taking.
We said this day would come. We said rates would rise sharply. No one believed us.
And now here we are.
If you want to know what is killing this economy, look no further.
Blue Cross wants to collect nearly $2,111 from me for doing…..absolutely nothing.
Had Blue Cross been actually concerned about my health, they would have told me to sit down before opening that letter.
And if I were smart?
I’d still be at the beach. But I would get my own shrimp.
I am also changing to a Medical Cost Savings plan.
My monthly contributions will be LESS than the increase that BCBS is asking from me in 2016.
To be a bit more precise, it will be 40% less than what BCBS wants from me.
And my new deductible? $500.
With that kind of savings, I will be able to head to the beach sooner rather than later.
You should explore those sort of options as well.
After all, it is YOUR money.
The Federal Reserve is the weakest of the links in the US economy. Their timing is poor. They operate under two mandates and one works in direct opposition of the other.
Maintaining a stable money supply is one objective. Full employment is another. However, the Fed has a goal of 2% inflation and not 0% inflation, which is not stable, but inflationary. Additionally the Fed includes data in calculations that are not inflation based on monetary policy, but rising and falling prices due to greater or lesser demand.
That leads us to their second objective: full employment. When we get towards full employment, wages should rise and businesses compete for labor. But as soon as this were to happen, the Fed will stomp on the brakes. Continue reading
Once we get there, then we can talk about what a fair valuation might be based on future earnings growth and other factors.
I’d like to propose (for illustration only) a new agency for Fulton County. We will call it the Fulton County Residential Authority(FCRA). This authority will do for residents what the Fulton County Development Authority(FCDA) does for businesses.
Fulton County needs to attract some of the best and brightest residents out there who are looking for new homes. There are many attractive locations, and it would be in Fulton County’s own best interest to attract them here.
We can attract them by helping them get the financing they need for their homes. We will help them to float bonds for their residences, and offer tax incentives for those that are willing to purchase those bonds.
Current residents that are already in their homes?
We will offer you a hearty thank you. Thank you for not questioning our actions.[read more=”Read more” less=”Read less”]
Thank you for continuing to pay the full taxes on your property.
Thank you Thank you Thank you. (If you are one of our valued residents come in and chat-we may be able to work a favorable deal for you as well)
We will also offer through the FCRA property tax breaks for you that will lower your cost of residency during your first ten years. We will lower your property taxes by 50%, and then slowly increase your taxes over the years. And if needed to keep you happy, we will work with you to help lower those taxes in other ways as well. We are here for you.
Current residents that are already in their homes, and paying the full tax rates without any abatements-once again we offer you a hearty thank you!
Once a month, the FCRA will get together and look over the list of those who have applied for an inducement to have their residence within Fulton County. We will be evaluating you based on what you say will be the benefits of having you here.
Are you a high income earner and will be spending dollars? There’s a plus.
Going to be hiring a maid and lawn care and nannies? Babies on the way? Greater purchases of goods and job creation is always a plus.
Building a new home versus a resale? Even better. Raw materials purchased. Building permits and inspections. More jobs.
So we invite you to apply. Make your case. Help make Fulton County a better place for all. Your FCRA will make the right choices picking the right new residents for Fulton County.
For those current residents who will be living besides our beneficiaries of the FCRA, do not be concerned, upset, or feel cheated. These new residents will add value. They are bringing in new construction projects, jobs, and other intangibles.
We assure you this will not lead to overbuilding or speculation in our markets. Do not look at these new residents as getting a tax break at your expense. Look at it as incremental revenue that we will spend on behalf of everyone.
Let’s create the FCRA and do for residents what we are doing so well for our business community!
Now that you have a sense of how the Fulton County Residential Authority might work, you can see why I would oppose the Fulton County Development Authority.
It picks winners actively and losers passively. Current businesses pay more taxes than those that make deals with the FCDA.
It encourages speculation and overbuilding.
My list is long as to why I think the FCDA is a bad idea. Despite the fact that “everyone has or wants a development authority”, it artificially stimulates demand for commercial space. It also comes with a price: Property Tax Abatements.
Treat everyone and every business equally. If the idea is accepted that lower taxes stimulate(as the FCDA can affirm by why it does what it does), then lower taxes across the board for EVERYONE.
Lower business taxes for everyone. It’s the only equitable way to do business.
If you create a business environment that benefits ALL participants then that is the single best thing you can do.
Do not penalize current businesses by giving newcomers better deals and tax breaks.
It’s just that simple.
If you create that sort of environment for your businesses, you will not have to “induce” them to be in your community. Instead, they will beat a path to your community, and everyone will benefit.