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6-27-08 “The Melvin Davis Record” - Taxing and Spending – Part 5

The majority of our Board of Commissioners are big spenders…… Look at your property tax bill over the last seven years and see if it has gone down!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In Oconee County, increased revenue brings more spending and not less property taxes. Look at the numbers.

AVOC

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June 21, 2008

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“The Melvin Davis Record” - Taxing and Spending – Part 5

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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Despite of all the spin and glib talk about a diversified tax base and relief for property tax payers, our property taxes go up each year.   The current administration keeps adding programs and facilities to the budget and property taxes NEVER GO DOWN regardless of the amount of money is collected from sales taxes and an increased digest.

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The majority of our Board of Commissioners are big spenders……    Look at your property tax bill over the last seven years and see if it has gone down!   http://www.oconeecountytax.com/

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We need a more responsible majority on the board of commissioners!   If we don’t change leadership, our property taxes will continue to rise until the fixed income person cannot afford to live here.

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5-7-08 Davis’ spending and debt will haunt Oconee County in years to come – Part 2

3-28-08 SPLOST Sales Tax Projects – Good and Bad

2-3-08 Housing slump- over supply, sub-prime, lower prices and other repercussions


In Oconee County, increased revenue brings more spending and not less property taxes.  Look at the numbers.

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  3-28-08 SPLOST Sales Tax Projects – Good and Bad

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OCONEE SPLOST RECEIPTS FOR FEBRUARY - 2000-2008

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2001

2002

2003

2004

$ 224,009.42

$ 270,961.09

$ 355,837.85

$ 342,081.04

2005

2006

2007

2008

$ 359,337.88

$ 440,796.29

$ 458,480.53

$ 642,220.33

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There are claims about the millage rate not increasing.   WELL DUH!  Most of us know the BOC realizes a windfall each year from increased assessments.   It is an automatic tax increase.

Our sales taxes have helped the county and schools to build new schools and needed facilities.  On other occasions, the tax has been used to build large facilities that may fit the definition of “nice to have”.   With these big projects come a permanent increase in property tax to pay for maintenance and staffing.   At the same time, Fire Department buildings and staffing are being delayed even though we have had a huge increase in large commercial facilities and large residences.    Fire Service is essential and needs attention and funding.Road maintenance and improvements are essential with a growing population.

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There is little spending and tax discipline with the current leadership.  Not only has the BOC spent record revenues but has incurred the most debt of any administration in the history of Oconee County!    Most of this was done with little real public discussion.   Decisions have been made out of the public eye and like the “$ 26 Million Oconee Connector Project” just show up on the radar one day.

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4-7-08 Oconee Connector $ 26 million Project is more than a Name Change

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Oconee has great potential.It can have a great future.   Many leaders for decades have contributed to a great foundation for our future.    Our future will be more secure with less “fast-growth” and less undisciplined spending and borrowing.

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We need to slow down on spending and realize some “real tax relief” for regular taxpayers who do not have special categories.


11-16-07 Increasing Revenues and Growing Tax Digest Do Not translate to Lower Taxes

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AVOC

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November 16, 2007

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Increasing Revenues and Growing Tax Digest Do Not translate to Lower Taxes

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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Oconee has record receipts in Sales Taxes (LOST for County Operations; SPLOST for County Capital Projects; and ELOST for School Capital Projects).   The County Tax Digest has grown dramatically.   However, spending has used all of that money and resulted in a historic record of indebtedness ($ 10-12 Million for Park; $ 10-12 Million for bigger jail; $ 66 Million for Hard Labor Creek Water Project; Estimated $ 20 Million Plus in Water-Sewer Debt; Millions for School buildings needed every other year etc).

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CLICK ON:     AVOC.AB-H.Taxes.275065 6xf 11-14.07.Revenues.pdfx


3-22-07 Oconee County BOC has huge “SLUSH FUND” – Overtaxing!

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FOR AUDIT BALANCE SHEET, SEE:

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Oconee.Audit.Summary.7.06.Audit.3.16.07.pdf x

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3-22-07 Oconee County BOC has huge “SLUSH FUND” – Overtaxing!

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One Mill raises 1,329,024 for County

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For the FY 05-06, the Oconee County Commission realized an increase in Fund Balance or Surplus of $ 4,698,016.Revenues exceeded expenditures by $ 6,235.966.Some funds ($ 1,717,746) were transferred to other projects.  

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AVOC

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March 20, 2007

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Oconee County BOC has huge “SLUSH FUND” – Overtaxing!

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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For the FY 05-06, the Oconee County Commission realized an increase in Fund Balance or Surplus of $ 4,698,016.Revenues exceeded expenditures by $ 6,235.966.Some funds ($ 1,717,746) were transferred to other projects.   Having a surplus can be good in moderation.However, when it is used to disguise tax increases and to pay for Special Projects not in the budget, then it can be excessive.

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In my years as Chairman of the County Commission, we tried to maintain a Fund Balance of $ 2-3 Million for a “Rainy Day Fund”.   Accountants and other governments used a “rule of thumb” of enough money to run the government for 90 days in case taxes were not available.

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In FY 05-06, the Oconee County Fund Balance (Surplus) began at $ 10,613,090 and ended with $ 15,311,100, a one year increase of $ 4,698,016.    Total Revenues for the same FY was $ 20,799,750 and Total Expenditures of $ 14,563,786.   Excess funds over expenditures totaled $ 6,235.966.   During that same year, ($ 1,717,746 was transferred out of Fund Balance for other projects, not necessarily appearing as budget line items.

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Observers of BOC meetings have noticed that Chairman Davis will sometimes look at the Finance Officer and ask “Can we afford it?”   The response is sometimes, “we can take it out of Fund Balance.”……………………….


4-7-06 Oconee County headed down Jackson County’s “Prim Rose Path”- ACCG Lease Purchase Debt       http://avoc.info/info/3430

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While citizens of various communities are pre-occupied with zoning proposals in their neighborhoods, the Commissioners are quietly committing us to “fast growth” policies and huge debt to be paid by future Commissioners, School Officials and Citizens.


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