Property owners in Georgia who feel their property value is less than the appraised value set by the tax assessor has the right under the law to file a taxpayer's return of real property Form PT-50R. This form must be filed before April 1. The law states your property must be assessed at "fair market value" or "fair and equal value." This has been established as "what a willing buyer will pay and a willing ...
The 30th day of the legislative session is always one that requires a lot of patience and strong coffee. "Crossover Day" is a significant deadline for the Georgia General Assembly because it is the last day for legislation to pass the chamber in which it was introduced in order for it to move to the other chamber for consideration.
Sitting in the stands Saturday nearly 130 miles south of Dawsonville, there was no sign in sight of a sluggish economy, nearly $4 a gallon gas prices or high unemployment rates. Everywhere you looked you saw someone you knew, decked out in maroon and gold, cheering on our Lady Tigers basketball team.
Last Thursday marked the 30th legislative day of the 2013 session. Known as "Crossover Day," this critical point in the session marks the last chance for most bills to pass the legislative chamber from where they originated.
Let's face it. Judges can be pretty scary folks to We the Unwashed. About the only time we ever see them is when we are called for jury duty or when - Heaven forbid - we are a plaintiff or defendant or a witness, wishing we could be anywhere but in the courtroom. But I will let you in on a little secret: Get them out of those black robes and away from their intimidating surroundings and these folks are fun to be around.
In reference to the proposed Calhoun Creek Reservoir, Mayor James Grogan stated in news reports: "It's a manmade reservoir already, an old rock quarry..." It would be interesting to know what he bases this on. There is no evidence that there has ever been a quarry on Calhoun Creek or Peachtree Creek, the tributary which flows into it and would also be a part of the reservoir.
The Georgia House of Representatives has passed an ethics reform bill and has sent it on its way to the state Senate for its consideration and action. But don't get out the confetti just yet. What one body sees as true ethics reform, the other sees as a desultory effort to curb the power and influence of those lizard-loafered lobbyists skulking the halls of the Gold Dome. We the Unwashed? We are caught in the middle, as usual.
This past week, the Senate passed House Bill 266, which would update Georgia's IRS code and clarify measures from 2012's tax reform overhaul by a vote of 41-7. The bill was amended from its original version to reconcile any unintended financial repercussions from last year's comprehensive tax reform package.
Now that we're almost three quarters through session, the House is considering more legislation than at any other time this session. We spend longer days at the Capitol, and vote on more legislation. This past week the House voted on several major pieces of legislation that will have a positive impact on our state.
Although I was just recently named chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, I am not new to the discussion on Georgia's wide range of transportation needs. As a former DOT board member and a former county commissioner, I am well-versed in the transportation needs of more rural areas of the state, and as a former member of the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview Committee (MARTOC) I have also had the chance to review some of ...
It is often difficult to foresee the end results of an action when it is initiated, although we are constantly taking actions that have far-reaching outcomes. That's exactly what life is all about. Sometimes the results are serendipitous (look that one up), sometimes calamitous or run-of-the-mill or even unobserved. Generally, I think, we must look back and analyze situations in order to realize the cause/effect steps.
Last Wednesday marked the 20th legislative day, which puts us half way through the 2013 legislative session. The day was extremely special for me, because this was the day that House Bill 122 passed the House of Representatives.
My recent observations on the lack of respect given public school teachers in Georgia engendered a lot of responses but none better than this story sent to me by my friend, David Egan, co-director of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island and a former educator himself. I commend it to those members of the General Assembly who seem to spend more time and effort these days trying to starve public schools to death financially and ...
I often write adventures from the past, but today I am writing about an event that is occurring this very moment - the Rome Confluence.
Last December, after a long day of meetings, I could think of nothing more important than going home and hugging my kids tightly. The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy was everywhere that day - TV, newspaper, social media and general conversation. When a parent sends a child to school or when a teacher goes to work, it is assumed both will return home safe and sound at the end of the day.
David Pennington, the mayor of Dalton, is making noises about challenging incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 Republican primary. Say what?
The legislative session has ended, and Gov. Nathan Deal has now either signed or vetoed every bill that passed the General Assembly.
The debate surrounding second amendment rights received national attention a few weeks ago as the U.S. Senate voted down a bill that would require expanded background checks for firearm purchases.
We just wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported the Lady Tigers basketball team this season.
Senator Gooch recently wrote about the final budget for Georgia for fiscal year 2014.
Relay for Life is a stunning example of what the caring, compassionate and hard-working people who live in Dawson County can accomplish.
When I was named chair of the Senate Transportation Committee in January, it was becoming clear that there could be some struggles with producing a balanced FY 2014 budget for Georgia.
When the terrorist attacks occurred in Boston during the running of the Boston Marathon, memories came flooding back of our own dark days in Atlanta. It was 17 years ago, July 27, 1996, when those of us who were a part of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games had our worst fears realized. A pipe bomb detonated in the Centennial Olympic Park during the middle weekend of that worldwide celebration, killing two people and ...
A friend and I met up in the massive Frankfurt airport's central lobby just by coincidence.
One of the most challenging tasks the Georgia General Assembly takes on each year is sorting through the state's finances. Unlike legislation, the budget isn't something that can be carried over to the next biennial year.
Has it really been 43 years since the first "Earth Day?" I remember it well; that's when I became an environmentalist.
It turns out that you can go home again. I recently established a chair in crisis communications leadership at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communi­cations at my beloved University of Georgia. UGA President-elect Jere Morehead, along with Dink NeSmith, chairman of the Board of Regents came for the ceremony and both made my family and me feel warmly welcomed on campus. That is something we haven't felt at my alma mater for a long time.
They are the best University of Georgia athletic team you have likely never heard of. They have won five national titles and go into next week's national championships one of the favorites to win it all again.