White County Wants To Raise Your Property Taxes

White County News Editorial Submission

I’ve been reviewing the Certified Audited Financial Results(CAFR) for White County for 2020. Total tax revenues have been increasing at an annual rate of 3.46% per year since 2011. 

Their argument for the tax increase is the increasing population.  But the population has only been increasing at a rate of 1.25% per year since 2011. The justification for a property tax increase is weak:

“The White County Board of Commissioners works diligently to keep White County’s millage rate as low as possible while providing the necessary services to the ever-growing population and want to stress that their intent is to maintain the current millage rate of 10.75.”

They are going to need a better and more comprehensive statement to convince me that they are not just taking the easy path for additional revenue, allowing people to think that they are not raising taxes as they emphasize that the millage rate is the same.

This process starts with an updated tax digest (sum value of all taxable properties).  A rollback rate is determined.  That is the millage rate that would generate the same revenues as last year from the taxable properties. 

Our tax commissioners should determine how much is needed and then determine what the millage rate to generate that amount of revenue is. 

Instead, they are using last year’s millage rate and multiplying it by the new digest to determine how much they can get and then where can they spend it.  That is a tax increase. 

Property taxes are only one source of funding for White County (51%).  Sales taxes are also a large contribution and they have also risen in the last year.

Please quit repeating that the millage rate is staying the same as if this is not a tax increase for our county.  The Georgia Taxpayer Bill of Rights states this is a tax increase.  Treat it as such and justify it accordingly or choose the Rollback rate for our next property tax bill. 

With the year many of us have had, we do not need a property tax due to inflated real estate values.

Here’s What We Do Know About the Trump-Biden Presidential Race

Difference in Support

Trump supporters were more enthusiastic than any Republican candidate over the last 50 years.

Biden support was non-existent.

The Campaign

Trump worked tirelessly campaigning most of the election year and had large crowds wherever he went.

Biden seemed to be staying out of sight as much as possible and his crowds were smaller than Hillary Clinton’s.

The Speeches

Trump could speak hours on end and off the cuff with few, if any gaffes.

Biden consistently misspoke and was incoherent at times.

Trump says America First.

Biden says the rest of the world first.

Campaign Promises

In addition, Trump cut taxes, gave conservatives three Supreme Court Justices, gave the names of others he would nominate if the need arises, and did not get the United States into one new war.

Biden campaigned on raising taxes, refused to discuss the candidates for Supreme Court openings, refused to comment on “packing the court”, and is itching to return to the previous diplomatic ways of the United States.

Election Results

Trump got more Black support, Latino support, Cuban support, and Asian support than he did in 2016.

Consequently, Biden had to get less support from those groups.

Trump got the support of nearly all Police groups in the US.

Biden did not.

Bizarre Results

In Georgia in counties where Trump won, Senator Perdue received even more support.

In counties where Trump lost, like Gwinnett County, liberal issues like mass transit did not pass.

With all of that in mind, Biden got more votes then any other candidate for President other than Trump did in this same race.

And with all of that in mind, Biden got more votes than Hillary Clinton, who was loved and embraced by the left, and was actually able to draw crowds and attract attention.

Conclusion?

When your grandchildren discuss this election in Civics class, if it still exists, will they look at this outcome and conclude that something was amiss.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Of Course the Election Process Is Corrupt

It’s hard to watch so many defend what many of us already know to be a corrupt election process. And most of us already know that it is corrupt from the start to the finish, and not just the finish with the counting of the votes.

In the state of Georgia, the election process is not open, honest and fair. The democrats and the republicans control the election process. I am not speaking about candidates who were elected as democrats and republicans that were elected by the Public and then control the process, either.

Instead I am talking about the parties through elected officials, who conspire to keep third party candidates off the ballots as much as possible. And they are successful and it harms all of us.

If these officials do not believe in competition for the election process, you can imagine how they make decisions for other aspects of our lives.

Anyone who has attended a City Council Meeting( my experience has been with the Johns Creek City Council) has seen the underhanded and corrupt processes at work. “Public” debates on issues where Council Members state false facts and both staff members and City Lawyers keep their mouths shut(it’s not their job to correct falsehoods).

So for those individuals, especially the ones who are elected, stating that they see no “widespread or systemic voter fraud? You should shut up.

Every rational voter knows that there is voter fraud. We have witnessed the call for it from elected officials for decades, and we have seen how officials will interpret the rules for their own desires EACH AND EVERY TIME.

The behavior we have seen on our local city councils is the same behavior we are seeing across the nation while counting votes.

None of us are surprised. What we are surprised at is the denial by elected officials, protecting THEIR system, who know better.

Vote for Socialism(and Enjoy the Outcome)

The great election face of 2020 is coming to an end. One can only wonder if the American people have fallen for that farce or are they going to reject it outright.

Joe Biden, while appearing to be the selection of the members of the Democratic Party, was not actually selected by the voting public. Instead, we was left standing by a process of elimination as one by one, the rest of the self-declared candidates dropped out of the democratic primaries before the electorate even had a chance to vote

The only reason it appears that many of the 29 or so candidates run in the first place is to shift the platform of the party, and not to actually win. That is what we see today. Kamala Harris was one of the first candidates to drop out, and yet she is as close to being POTUS as a Biden win and a resigation.

Think about that. For all of the arguments over the unfairness of the electoral college(which works exactly as it was intended), the most liberal Senator in the history of the US is as close to being POTUS as imaginable, yet could not manage more than 3% support in her own party’s primaries.

The rest of us, however, appear to have had enough of the bullshit. We are tired of the riots, the lockdowns, the forced indoctrinations on every feeling someone has that somehow we have to not only accept by support.

I’ve listened to many of Trump’s speeches. He appeals to people that just want to live their own lives.

To the media that has not mattered. Since before Trump took office there has been a concerted effort to cut him off at the knees. A biased media took it upon themselves to right the wrong that they felt occurred when Trump won in 2016 over the Clinton.

In 2016, Clinton was to have the support of nearly all women, every minority in the nation, and every other special interest group under the rainbow. And she lost.

The tears flowed freely on that election night and continue to flow today.

The full-fledged media attack has gone on non-stop. Meanwhile the same media turns a blind eye to a candidate who defends his son despite the evidence and who cannot string together s series of coherent statements that leaves great doubts as to his mental capabilities.

How is that possible?

Someone asked me how can people be so stupid as to believe that higher taxes, open borders, elimination of the Second Amendment, energy dependence on foreign nations, outsourcing our manufacturing to other countries, and elimination of the police will result in Americans being safer overall?

Mass hysteria is the only answer I came come up with.

Mass hysteria led by a media that has normalized and encouraged every sort of belief when there was clear evidence to the contrary.

Just think of the terms we hear everyday that we never heard before. Systemic racism? And that battle cry is coming from multimillionaire ballplayers who live better than 99% of the rest of us?

Black Lives Matter? And yet there are blacks being killed by other blacks in Chicago, Baltimore and other cities every day and no one lifts a finger to do anything?

White people screaming at black people for being white racists? Where does the idiocy end?

Talk of reparations to people who were never slaves paid for by people that never owned slaves? Stevie Wonder wants reparations? Seriously.

People crying over the death of a Supreme Court Justice? People crying that Trump filled a seat on the Supreme Court?

It ends with a resounding Trump victory. It will end when people quit getting participation awards for doing nothing. It will end when people are told if you want a certain outcome, you need to earn it. It is not going to be given to you.

We did not get here over night and it will not be resolved over night. But it will be resolved.

If the majority do not stand up and start challenging elected officials who then ignore the US and State constitutions, then a Constitutional Republic is doomed to failure.

Either way, a reset is coming. Socialism does not work. Communism fails. Only a free people with their individual rights protected can succeed.

No matter what the media says.

Freedom By The Fourth

It’s time to dismiss the politicians who have proven themselves inept. It’s time to quit following idiotic rules that were made by people that are clueless.

Have you asked yourself why you have outsourced the management of your life to so called experts that one moment tell you that mask do not help and then tell you that everyone should wear them?

Are you tired of actors grandstanding on social media and chastising you for not wearing a mask while they wear a crochet mask?

The only person that can decide what is best for you is you.

We have given government a great opportunity and what they have done is show us just how far they will go to violate the US Constitution and incarcerate you at home, all for your own good.

If you do not mind being treated as a threat to those around you, then wear a mask and stand on the circle and wait your turn to move.

But if you are fed up, tired at the constant rule changes and fatigued by the fake outrage of people who have said we are not going to take it any more, then take your life back.

And there is no better time to do so as we approach the Fourth of July.

You have four weeks to test the waters with your toes. Check to see if it is safe. If by the Fourth you are still willing to enforce unproven and mystic rules for engagement with others, then you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

The way you respond to this event will set the tone for how they handle the next. And believe me, they will act faster and with more draconian measures than this time.

It’s really time to end this BS. Take your life back. End the insanity.

#freedombythefourth

Mixed Messages

As the Covid19 medical crisis continues, governments continue to send mixed messages.

Governments race to take action building medical facilities to take care of the ill, the majority of them who have NOT followed the guidelines set over the last 2-4 weeks, which were to keep people from getting ill in the first place.

Why are the governments working so hard to develop rules as to what you can do and not do, and then at the very same time taking billions of dollars to be prepared to treat you when those that do not follow the rules get ill?

Maybe some of those quarantined have too much time on their hands.

Vaping Crisis? Or Common Sense Crisis?

Photo Courtesy of https://vaping360.com/

Nothing gets politicians or wanna be politicians more excited than a new crisis. And fortunately, as we head into the fall election cycle, we have one in Johns Creek.

Vaping is a choice, made by individuals, whom we give the right to drive vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds at high speeds that can kill instantly. We also give those individuals the right to terminate a pregnancy, go swimming, ride bicycles, and choose the foods that they consume.

The scope of this vaping “crisis” pales in comparison to a real crisis. First and foremost, the individuals can manage their own risk by stopping. As a parent, you can help by informing your children of their risks.

In 2017, 2,734 teenagers were killed in traffic accidents. That is 7.5 per day.

In 2019, there have been 26 vaping deaths reported(adults and teenagers). That works out to 0.09 deaths per day.

The death rate for traffic accidents for teens is 83 times higher than the death rate for all vaping deaths over the last twelve months.

One would think if the media and the politicians were interested in saving lives, then focus on that item which could save the most lives. However they never seem able to do that.

It’s about sensationalism and emotionalism.

We do not need sensationalism and emotionalism in elected officials. It generates knee jerk reactions to situations we would not even need to address if the individuals affected just took responsibility for their own actions.

And in this instance, it’s the same individuals we are willing to give a driver’s license to.

Logic needs to rule the day when it comes to public policy making and not emotion.

Gateway Marker Designs Speak For Themselves

On Friday September 27th, the City Council received the preliminary drawings for proposed Gateway Markers for the City of Johns Creek. The City Council was getting an early peak for the drawing and voting was to start this week from the residents. In less than 91 minutes from receiving the drawings forwarded by the Mayor, Council Members began to react.

Last April I wrote about how this effort was a complete waste of taxpayer monies. I also wrote the following(was I wrong?):

A government cannot define us. An artist will not define us. Gateway Markers will not define us. We do not need outsiders to come in and tell us who we are.
Government can identify us but it will never define us. The moment we let government define us is the moment we have lost who we are. We should be defining government instead.

Is this a good use of taxpayer dollars? I’ll let you decide for yourself.

The Council reacted negatively and these drawings were withdrawn from Public View. While they were supposed to be presented and voting begin on September 30,2019, it appears that changes will now be made before presenting to the public for consideration.

How much this will cost or what the revisions are remains to be seen.

Why Do You Hate The Electoral College? Because You Were Told a Lie

It’s the “United States of America”

Yes, you read that correctly. People read words and phrases and never think of the meanings of the words. Notice carefully my liberal friends. We were meant to be a loose collection of states.

Each state would set their parameters for functioning. And if you did not like it, you could move to a state you did like.

Simple, clear and concise.

It’s NOT the United Citizens of America

There are those among us that want the President of these United States to be elected by popular vote. But that is NOT the basis for which we formed this nation. A popularity test is no way to run a country. Why even bother with state borders if you like that concept?

The ONLY way to get the smaller of the 13 colonies to go along with forming “a more perfect Union”(notice it does not say perfect) was to insure it was NOT going to be majority rule.

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

Thomas Jefferson

A Constitutional Republic

That is what we are and what we must strive to be. The smallest of minorities, the individual, MUST have there rights protected. And those rights are enumerated in the US Constitution

To allow the majority to strip away those rights would be a grave mistake. You would effectively be owned by the majority.

“Being on the side of the majority is often a sign that you are wrong, or the most unlikely to be right.” 

― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

You Were Lied To In School

How many times were you told that you lived in a democracy? You do not. You live in a Constitutional Republic.

When you live in a democracy without the protections of a Constitution you are owned by the majority. Whichever side makes the most persuasive arguments wins.

Think about that.

“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

― George Carlin

The More People Vote The Better The Outcome

Nothing could be further from the truth. The more people that vote the more average the outcome will be. Guaranteed.

Imagine a society where everyone was required to vote. We are frequently told that “Every Vote Counts”. Yes it might be counted, but it will also lead to worse outcomes and not better.

Voters are not experts on every topic. It’s likely most people cast votes for individuals based on name recognition only . Is that what you want to decide issues that will affect your life, your income, your safety, and your freedom? Name recognition?

Please do not rely on campaign signs, mailers, or newspaper articles to pick your candidate. Go or watch just a few public debates or forums. See what they say, how they say it and if they know what they are talking about.

I voted for individuals currently on the Johns Creek City Council that I was and am still appalled at their arrogance, ignorance and general lack of respect for their constituents..

And I based my vote on their campaign mailers. I’ll never vote blindly for a candidate again.

I hope you do not, either.

Gateway Markers, The CVB, Volunteers and Tax Payers: What a Waste of Money

Everything that is wrong with Government can be seen in this Process

One has to look no further than the debate on Gateway Markers and the desire of some Council Members to give the “volunteers” what they want when it comes to spending taxpayer monies to understand what is wrong with government.

“They gave it great consideration and they came back with the same recommendation and added further data to it, so to me it’s supporting the people we ask to work on a volunteer basis for the city.” -Council Member Steve Broadbent

What about the actual taxpayers Council Member Broadbent? The ones that are forced to work for government? Have you considered what it takes to actually earn the monies you are suggesting being spent on “Gateway Markers”?

A total of $508,900 was collected in fiscal year 2018 by the Hotel/Motel tax. Council Members forget that this money had to be earned before it could be collected and then spent by volunteers on frivolous endeavors through the Convention Visitors Bureau(CVB).

IT IS NOT FREE MONEY

At 7% that represents revenues of 7.27 million dollars in hotel/motel sales to collect.

If you divide the $508,900 by an average hourly wage of $25 per hour, that equals 20,356 hours of labor. This is not volunteer labor, but effectively forced labor to support these endeavors such as painted pedestrian tunnels(A cultural attraction according to the CVB), gateway markers and kiosks in hotels that effectively do the same thing as Yelp and Google(only worse-you cannot carry it with you).

While the entire amount proposed to be spent on Gateway Markers is much less, the issue is the same.

Assume we spent $50,000 on Gateway Markers, that would represent 2,000 hours of labor at a minimum. Let’s weigh that against the time of “volunteers” in making these decisions.

Certainly the bar should be much higher on how this money should be spent other than “volunteers worked hard.” Certainly the money should be spent in a way that shows a real return on the investment by the taxpayers that paid it, even more so than the volunteers that offered to spend it?

If Council Member Broadbent and others feel that being a volunteer qualifies you to spend taxpayer money(and this is what we are talking about), then I would like to volunteer to decide how to spend some of the budget surpluses generated by this City each and every year.

And I would bring you a list of proposals AND return on investments that are specific and quantifiable, not pie in the sky “we should do it because some marketing people said so”.

What should concern you the tax payer is that if they are this frivolous with tax payer dollars on this issue what keeps them from being frivolous with spending on other issues?

The answer is they spend frivolously very often, rarely demanding a real return on investment for taxpayers(have you seen the lights along Kimball Bridge). Instead, it’s about optics. It’s about feeling good. It’s not about real returns.

Council Member Zaprowski wants to pursue the Gateway Markers now. He seeks it so much that he is willing to push aside a greenway along the river which would benefit all residents. Would residents benefit from Gateway Markers? Of course not. A greenway? Absolutely.

Just look at the activity in Roswell along the river or in Sandy Springs along the river. Is there any question that it attracts people and provides health benefits to boot? How can someone even question which would be best for Johns Creek in the long term?

The residents of Johns Creek have given this Council what it sought in past elections: A Parks Bond and a TSPLOST Tax. More and more money. Before you ever do this again, you need to ask yourself if you can trust them with millions if they are willing to waste thousands.

Residents have made it clear we want to get traffic moving. Yet we have spent more time on this issue and seen more passion from Broadbent and Zaprowski on Gateway Markers than we have seen on getting traffic moving. It took months and months to get the traffic signals back on the agenda. And somehow the CVB and Gateway Markers are so important, this Council seems to have to address the issues again and again until the CVB gets what they want. Is this Council here just to give the CVB what they want?

I challenge this Council to demand a real return on investment on these tax dollars. Do not simply go along to appease the CVB. If that was what was intended, then the CVB would NOT need Council approval to spend these funds.

I ask each of you the following questions:

  • How much do you expect business to be boosted by a Gateway Marker in Johns Creek?
  • How are you going to measure this return on investment?
  • Which of you has chosen to do business in a city because of a Gateway Marker?
  • Which of you does not know when you enter or leave the City of Johns Creek?

Isn’t it time we quit spending money just because we have it? And since we cannot really spend it on something worthwhile, we will just spend it just to spend it.

I’ll be blunt. The hotel motel tax should be eliminated. The CVB should be disbanded. This City Council needs to work on the REAL Issues.

We do not need outsiders to come in and define us. We do not need Gateway Markers to “reflect” who we are.

We know who we are. Unfortunately, this City Council seems hellbent on redefining who we are. Maybe it’s this City Council does not like who we are. Or maybe this Council does not know who we are. They certainly seem out of sync with the majority within Johns Creek.

More importantly, they seem unwilling to say NO to bad ideas.

If we are going to put up a Gateway Marker, I’d suggest Dollars flowing into a paper shredder and pennies coming out of the bottom.

Wasting taxpayer money is no way to run a City. And rewarding “volunteers” for bad decisions should never happen.