The other night the county commissioners made a bad mistake. I normally do not go public with my criticisms of those who hold those offices. I know from my own experiences at the job of being a commissioner that it is a hard one to get right. The hours are long and the pay is low and you hardly ever get an “attaboy” and mostly you get a good talking to.
The commissioners voted three to two to reduce the commercial impact fees from 100 percent of the estimated actual costs to 25 percent.
If you are a property owner in the country and concerned about your property taxes you should have felt a hand go into your pocketbook and take out some money. What just happened by that vote was a decision to shift the costs that will come to the county for any new business from ones who cause the cost to the ones of us who own property. I am “agin it.”
And if you think that most citizens who own property believe that they already pay too little, go down to the tax assessor’s office and see how many appeals have been filed just this year. These are covered up.
Over the years the state legislature has given the counties several options to try and stop the rapid rise of property taxes caused by growth. SPLOST, LOST, ESPLOST and Impact Fees are those alternate taxes that can be used. Impact fees are the upfront one time payments charged to new businesses and residences. Those fees are pretty accurate. The county just paid over $40,000 to have those fees calculated for Dawson County and approved by the state.
When a new business comes here and starts up, the county will incur some costs to provide roads, fire, emergency vehicles, police and other services. Those costs will not go away just because the commission does not collect them. The rest of us will have to pay.
Speak to your elected commissioners and tell them if you agree or disagree with this decision they have just made. If all they hear from are those that will have to pay the impact fees, and not from the property owners, they will think what they have done is okay.