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ASK THE EXPERTS

A senior citizen’s view on homestead tax exemption

POSTED: October 27, 2010 4:00 a.m.

With the 2010 General Election less than a week away, I feel compelled to speak out on this timely and important issue of homestead tax exemption for senior citizens in Dawson County.

  

Simply stated, my biographical sketch is one that most folks in my generation can easily identify with. At the ripe age of 75, I have worked very hard to raise and provide for three children. They received a good education in the public school system of Fulton County and subsequently UGA and Emory University.

  

I retired at 65 from a position that I held for 40 years. Seeking an escape from the “Land of Roz” (Roswell, Ga.), 10 years ago we found our Shangri-la here in Dawson County.

  

Part of my time now is spent volunteering at our Dawson County Senior Center.

  

My wife and I deliver meals in the county to seniors and shut-ins. If you are looking for a fulfilling and rewarding endeavor, let me enlist you.

  

It will provide you with a totally different value on life.

  

All of the surrounding counties, Lumpkin, Pickens, Hall and Forsyth have already enacted homestead tax exemptions. It has been asserted that the public school system in our county will be sacrificed at the tax relief given our seniors.

  

No matter what you may have heard, a tax shift does not cause any taxing body to lose tax revenue. Cities, counties and school systems set a millage rate to cover their budget. Forsyth County has had homestead tax exemption in place for a number of years. It is one of the fastest growing and most affluent counties in the nation.

  

From a personal experience, I have eight grandchildren either currently enrolled, or have graduated from the Forsyth County Public School System.

  

They are well-educated, good citizens and contribute to our society.

  

Much of Forsyth’s growth is a result of retirees relocating from Florida and northern states. Their economy has improved and tax revenues abound. If you happen to agree with my babbling and would like to help our older citizens I urge you to vote YES on all three exemptions, one on the regular ballot and two on the special ballot.

  

This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. Just vote your conscience.

   

Bernie Foltz

Dawson County

 

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