Dear Editor: As property values plummet, those who are in positions to safeguard the county's treasure have chosen to take the road of least resistance. Raising taxes is the easiest method to prevent having to make tough decisions. Voters elect people to represent their interests. So if the interest of the voter is not being represented, then whose interest is?
There has been a huge tax and millage rate increase party going on in Rockdale County in 2011. Unfortunately, those who pay the taxes were not invited. Rockdale County raised the millage rate from 15.53 to 16.91, the city of Conyers raised the millage rate from 9.41 to 9.90 and the Rockdale County Public Schools raised the millage rate from 22.99 to 24.5.
My sympathy goes out to all the property owners throughout the County of Rockdale, but it especially goes out to the veterans and senior citizens who on average earn approximately $14,000 annually. Our seniors are asked to forego paying their pharmacist for their much needed medication to now paying their local government more taxes. This is horrible! Jesus said "in as much as you have done it to the least of these my brethren, you have done it also unto me." (Mathew 24)
We have senior citizens in the county that are almost 100 years of age and are still paying school taxes. This too is horrible. In fact, in my view, this is a form of fleecing the elderly. I feel that the day someone reaches the ripe young age of 65 is the day he/she should have to stop paying school taxes. I'm unmovable in this position.
You don't fix a budget problem by raising taxes. You locate the root causes of the budget problem and fix that. For the most part you don't have far to look. Wasteful spending in most cases is the number one culprit. We must create and maintain a culture of frugality to avoid having ever to make such a decision with the treasure of the taxpayers. If there are employees who are reluctant to maintain this culture of frugality on behalf of the taxpayers, then they must be removed expeditiously and replaced with individuals who can. The taxpayers don't want excuses, they want results. High taxes will weaken any county. Conversely, lower taxes will always strengthen and create a robust economy in any county.
Glenn Sears, the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council Executive Director and Fred Boscarino, President/CEO at Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce are second to none in the state of Georgia, specifically in their field of marketing a county. However, it is even difficult for this dynamic duo to lure businesses into the county when we are looking at a collective mill rate that hovers over 51 mills and growing.
Brian L. Jenkins