Hold the millage line
The city of Oxford Council last week informally agreed to raise the city millage rate from 6.28 to 7.06. Frankly, we are disappointed. Oxford is fortunate to have good, conservative leadership, but this was a poor decision.
The rationale is that property tax values have declined, hence the city will bring in less revenue because of the decline in assessments. The millage rate of 7.06 would be an adjustment that would basically be revenue neutral.
So while your property may have experienced a decline in value, you get no break from the tax man.
Our take on it is that you are having to tighten the belt with home finances, so government also needs to make do with less.
We can understand when a community such as Porterdale has to resort to the rollback rate when property values decline, because they have no other income stream to speak of on which to rely.
But Oxford is fortunate in that it generates income from providing electrical services, which pays for much of its bills.
The city has proved itself fiscally responsible and is well run, but it would make sense to let the property owners who have experienced a decline in value at least experience a bit of relief in the form of a lower property tax bill.
The council will meet on Monday to set the rate and plans to adopt the rate increase at its August meeting.
We suggest that the citizens of Oxford tell their elected officials to go back to the drawing board and cut some expenses and not raise taxes under this guise.
Earning your trust?
Let the voting begin. Again. Gov. Nathan Deal was set Friday to announce the design for Georgia's new car tags. The state had placed the license plate design to a public vote on eight candidates and the field had been narrowed to three.
But Deal has reversed course and reopened vot- ing.
It seems that in the original contest, which attracted 400,000 votes over six weeks, some of the designs displayed for consideration included our national motto, “In God We Trust,” while others didn’t. There’s no controversy in this, just confusion. State law requires that your car tag either has your county of residence displayed, or the national motto, which is optional. You can pay $1 for a sticker of “In God We Trust” and be on your way.
So, OK, no harm done. Voting has been virtual, actual costs incurred are minimal, and with the added publicity, the voting may reach 1 million or so.
We trust that you will check out the choices, sans stickers, on Monday. See https://etax.dor.ga.gov/tagcontest.aspx and cast your vote.