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5-25-10 Economy, Taxes, Budgets, National, State, Regional and Oconee

We may just have to start living the “old fashioned way” and live within our income or means. We need to buy only the size house we need. We need to quit expanding government payrolls and facilities with more annual pressure on taxpayers…….

AVOC

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May 23, 2010

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Economy, Taxes, Budgets, National, State, Regional and Oconee

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By Wendell Dawson, Editor, AVOC, Inc

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Many of us are receiving tax assessment notices and they are showing Values Going Down!Oconee has acknowledged a 3-4 % digest decrease.    Other counties in the area are experiencing 12 to 20 % reduction.   Audits may reveal that Oconee Values have declined more in the 15-20 % range.

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We see area governments using reserves and furloughing personnel to reduce expenses to the lowered revenues.   There is little appetite for raising taxes in a recession.   Many businesses and citizens are suffering reduced incomes also.

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Some ‘expert’ will predict that we have ‘turned the corner’ yet the news brings more jobless claims, business & bank failures.   Of the sources I read, there is a feeling that we will be a long time coming out of this recession.   In the 90’s and 10’s we went through the longest boom period in my memory.   The adjustment and return to normal values may take longer than it has in the past.

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SPENDING AND DEBT

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The biggest problem facing us as individuals, nationally and in local government is Spending and Debt.   We got used to living above our means by piling up debt.However, with the slowdown, it is harder to pay the debt with less income.  

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The out of control spending in our National Government is causing a lot of anxiety for many who still value our system of government.   Several states and European nations are facing bankruptcy.   The stock market, certificates of deposits and bank stocks are no longer the sure thing of the past.

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We may just have to start living the “old fashioned way” and live within our income or means.    We need to buy only the size house we need.   We need to quit expanding government payrolls and facilities with added annual pressure on taxpayers.

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Congress and the Administration need to practice restraint on spending.   We will not spend our way out of the downturn and we will not “regulate out of it”.   Democrats blame it on tax breaks and conservatives blame it on entitlements.   We need to get real and “play the cards we are dealt”, starting with the President!

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I am thankful that my personal debt is negligible and I have some means of support.   Many younger citizens do not always have those advantages.   Our government officials have to lead and quit seeing citizens as just sources of revenue.


Morgan County property tax values down – Morgan County Citizen 5-21-10

http://www.morgancountycitizen.com/?q=taxonomy/term/1

….overall, a $ 458 million decline from last year’s digest of $ 3.72 billion, Anglin said. And he expects more decreases in property values over the next couple of years….

…when all appeals have been heard. However, he anticipates a 12 to 15 percent decline, expecting the digest to come in at just under $ 3 billion.

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Walton County slashes proposed budget by $ 2.5m Walton Tribune – 5-9-10

http://www.waltontribune.com/story.lasso?ewcd=a04be2cabfd8aade

…..MONROE — The Walton County Board of Commissioners saw for the first time Tuesday the proposed $ 46.8 million fiscal year 2011 general fund budget, about $ 2.5 million less than the current year’s budget.
For the second year in a row, the budget requires a dip into the county’s reserves, due in large part to make up for a projected $ 2.8 million shortfall in the 2007 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax debt service.
While SPLOST collections are trending upward, with March’s collection of about $ 767,000 almost 38 percent higher than last year’s, collections are still well below 2007 levels.
There will still be more than $ 17 million in reserve, exceeding the required two months — or 16 percent — of funding required.
The budget also includes two half-day furlough days for county employees, which will be the day before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays

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The Monticello News - March 18, 2010

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Property Values to Plunge

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FDIC: 'Problem' Banks at 775 WSJ -5-21-10

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704513104575256680430484878.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

….WASHINGTON—A total of 775 banks, or one-tenth of all U.S. banks, were on the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s list of "problem" institutions in the first quarter, as bad loans in the commercial real-estate market weighed on bank balance sheets.


Stocks Drop Most in a Year on Economic Reports, European Debt Crisis... Bloomberg – 5-20-10

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Jobless claims rise by largest amount in 3 months AP – 5-20-10

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Euro Falls to Lowest Since Lehman as Breakup Concern Increases – Bloomberg – 5.15.10

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Greece Considering Legal Action Against U.S. Banks for Crisis - Bloomberg – 5.16.10

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Merkel battered as Germans lose faith in EU – Times Online 5-16-10

After bailing out Greece and now the euro, Germany is fed up with being Europe’s paymaster

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7127621.ece

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Euro rescue package 'just buys time'-Merkel – Breitbart – 5.16.10

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What's your home worth now? - Data show how far values fell – AJC – 5.16.10

http://www.ajchomefinder.com/AJCHomefinder-sharing_/data-show-how-far-528030.html

….Across a 20-county metro area, every region surveyed saw declining residential sales prices, and all but two saw a drop in the number of homes sold, compared with 2008,……

…..The two counties that managed to record more home sales in 2009 — Clayton and Walton — had disastrous years price-wise. Clayton County’s sales increased 8 percent but prices plummeted 45 percent. In Walton County, where sales increased 2 percent, prices fell 24 percent,……..

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Stocks falter after wild day, Europe woes linger – AP -5-7-10

Stocks slide again a day after wild ride; European debt woes are still a worry

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Stocks-falter-after-wild-day-apf-4109518464.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=

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Stocks Slide as Market Rout Triggers Trading-Systems Concern – Bloomberg - 5-7-10

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=axs9U3Z22Hm4

…May 7 (Bloomberg) -- Global stocks and the bonds of debt- laden nations tumbled after Europe’s debt crisis spurred a market rout yesterday that undermined confidence in financial trading mechanisms. Equities trimmed losses on speculation the European Central Bank will take steps to shore up banks.

…….The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell as much as 3 percent before paring losses to 1.3 percent as of 11:39 a.m. in New York, leaving it little changed for the year. The MSCI World Index sank 2.2 percent and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index plunged 3.9 percent to the lowest since November. Greece led a drop in bonds of deficit-stricken European nations,……..

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UNEMPLOYMENT UP TO 9.9%...
Broader Rate Increases to 17.1%...

WSJ -5-7-10

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State tax collections fall again - Morris NS 5-7-10

http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/050710/bre_635817264.shtml

…ATLANTA — Georgia’s tax collections for April were 4.2 percent lower than the previous April, according to figures Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office released this afternoon.

…The biggest decline in April was in the area of individual income taxes, off $ 129 million or 16 percent.

…One positive area is sales tax collections which rose 7 percent in April……

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