Viewpoint: What tax options do we have?

The Group called the "Dougherty County Taxpayers Association" started with a protest about unfair property tax assessments, and has now taken on much more.

Their basic challenge to property taxes, has been replaced by charges of mismanagement at ADICA, and a call for the replacement of several city leaders.

We think the original tax issue is a discussion we should have, and would like to continue to explore any available options.

Beyond their main argument of how the assessments are conducted, one basic issue is that about 25,000 local property owners, are paying property taxes, in a county with a population of about 96,000.

That means about 27% of the residents are paying for the services enjoyed by the other 73%.

Even some who have lost their jobs, who own a home, still owe their taxes.

It does seem logical that all County residents should share in the payment, where they share in the benefits. From the roads, the schools, the fire department, EMS, all the numerous county services provided for residents.

Some suggest replacing the property tax with a sales tax is a fair solution.

We have clearly seen that our past SPLOST sales tax initiatives, have raised as much as 40 percent of the total, from residents outside the County.

With a sales tax, visitors and shoppers coming into Dougherty County, could help carry almost one-half the tax burden now shouldered by a small minority of county residents.

Does that sound fair to you? Let us know what you think, and what other solutions we should consider...