Lee Left the Gate Open – Tax Revenues Hoofed It

Back in 2011, during Lee Anderson’s last year in the Georgia House before his doomed attempt at the US House, your arrowflinging writer called and wrote him about the activities of the Tax Reform Council. Lee acted ignorant of the issues and directed me to his guy on the Council, plant nurseryman Skeeter McCorkle. He got back “Lee I know what McCorkle will do – he will get a whole new slew of agriculture exemptions!”

Anderson wasn’t in the Georgia House in 2012 when House Bill 386 passed containing all those costly new exemptions that real people are now having to make up.

Included in the bill was a provision giving nearly every farmer in Georgia, even home gardeners, what is now known at the GATE (Georgia Agricultural Tax Exemption) card. It looks like this.

Georgia GATE Card

Now when we used to visit Lee Anderson’s farm, each and every gate we passed through had to be closed and secured with a chain. So it used to be with Georgia Tax Exemptions.

What transpired was a comical statewide tax looting publicized heavily in the Atlanta Media, municipal publications, and even county papers like the Lincoln Journal. Some farming fellows tried to use their GATE card on the casket and vault for their fathers funeral. Others bought $100,000’s of lumber for home building. The carnage continues today at nearly every rural store in Georgia.

The tax losses exceeded 15% in many counties, causing property tax increases just like the 22% property tax Augustans got out of the same tax reform fiasco.

A Georgia Municipal Association map and chart depicted the damage statewide.GMA-map-for-blog

 

Another term, this time with Lee in the Senate, will be a real riot if the escaped money cows don’t come home.

Cow patties won’t fund education!

 

Augusta Ministers Rose Up for Georgia!

by AL M. Gray

Guest Column for the Urban Pro Weekly

The 2500 statewide votes by which Karen Handel lost the Republican Party nomination for governor to Nathan Deal in 2010 hurt this writer deeply. The corruption-plagued Deal became governor because the personal commitment to total courage had fallen short……leaving sighs of regret that “I should have…” or “we could have….” Four years later we have another chance to restore faith and honor in the office of Governor of Georgia. It will take one word – COURAGE.

In that decisive month of August, 2010, Nathan Deal came on the local Austin Rhodes Show twice and his powerful supporter, Congressman Paul Broun, was on once, each time for a half-hour. Knowing that your author was well versed in Deal’s voting record, scandals, and escape from Congress barely ahead of an ethics investigation, Rhodes allowed the next half-hour each time for a through rebuttal of the Deal propaganda. If only the COURAGE to speak out on talk radio programs had extended to a statewide effort, Nathan Deal would be just another failed, bankrupt politician.

Why can such bold statements be made? Going into the August run-off, the entire Republican Party establishment and almost all local officials of that party were solidly behind Deal. It was a powerful machine, yet here in the CSRA, it lost and decisively so! Counties within 50 miles of the WGAC radio station voted for Handel by 60% to 40%. Had we Handel supporters had the COURAGE to take our talk radio strategy across the state, Deal would have lost and our state spared four years of embarrassing outrages.

WGAC Georgia Counties 2010

Courage is a more than a word. It is the difference in victory and defeat.

Courage arose in an unexpected way a dozen years ago in your city, when a group of brave ministers in the black community took the full measure of charges against Georgia Senate Majority Leader Charles Walker under prayerful consideration and stepped out to endorse a white Republican, Randy Hall. Their decision shook the state. To discontinue support of the most powerful black, Democratic Party politician in Georgia history took stamina and it did not come without repercussions, yet they did it with clarity and firmness of voice.

Their stand now gives you moral authority to take a position with those of us who are Independents, principled Republicans, Libertarians, and motivated voters in ridding our state of the Deal gang. We need to be telling our churchgoing brothers and sisters who normally unfailingly cleave to the Republican Party of the brave Augusta Ministers for Hall in 2002 and their stand. We should use every chance we get to remind them of the moral qualities that men and women of fail of all colors profess to live by, to raise their children by, and live religious lives for. We should ask them to have courage too – the courage to ditch their partisan loyalties for just one election year to make things as right as citizens of this great state can make them.

The governor’s race isn’t about President Obama. It is about us and our courage to confront powerful office holders gone astray. If your ministers can do that, then why won’t they and their ministers do this?

Talk to the people of other races in West Augusta, Columbia County and across our area. Tell them of your concerns. Let them know that you will rejoice if they just show the same gumption, independence, and honor to present the same principled opposition in showing Nathan Deal the door as your ministers did in 2002. Surely they wouldn’t want you to have a higher moral ground!

Georgia is in the heart of the Bible Belt but Georgians have had the unhappy history of letting charlatans bamboozle their way into office or stay after they have gone wrong. In 2014 one hopes that we have the same courage as Augusta ministers of 2002 and that honor prevails.