No new Taxes! Watchdog group wants to stop tax hike -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

No new Taxes! Watchdog group wants to stop tax hike

October 5, 2007

Albany - A taxpayers watchdog group says Dougherty Countians can't afford another property tax hike and they'll fight it. They claim the Dougherty County School Board and the Dougherty County Commission plan to increase property taxes, though neither one has set its tax rate yet.

Those critics say the millage rates should be rolled back significantly because many property re-valuations already will translate into higher bills for many people.

No new taxes. That's the battle cry of Richard Thomas, a founding member of the Dougherty County Taxpayers Association. "City, county, and school boards. They've all done the same thing. They've been writing blank checks on the backs of taxed citizens for years and we're ready to stop it," he said.

Thomas, representing hundreds of taxpayers, spoke out against a possible tax increase of as much as 18% by the School Board at a hearing earlier this week, and hopes others will join him at hearings next week to fight the hikes.

"If they will get out of their reclining chairs and come down to the meetings on Monday and show their support," said Thomas, "then these commissions have to listen to them because here to fore, they haven't really had a voice and it's been terribly fragmented."

Plus, he says plans to tax citizens on top of what he deems a faulty reassessment is ridiculous. "We're in the process of having it thrown out because of its unconstitutional nature and it's based on prices that are absolutely out of the realm of realism."

And he hopes you'll help bring school board members and commissioners back to reality, by demanding, "No new taxes".

The school board plans to set its millage rate Monday. They'll be meeting at the School Administration Building downtown at 6 PM. The county commission is meeting at 9 AM and again at 6 PM at the Government Center. Whether your tax bill goes up depends on your property's new assessment and the total final millage rate from the school board, city, and county.