SPLOST ready for city approvals

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – In a Special Called Meeting on June 15, a final Resolution was put for consideration of the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay for an upcoming SPLOST Referendum.

Having received input from each city’s mayor and gone through previous negotiations on percentages, the resolution has now reached the time to be put forth in these city’s council meetings for consideration and approval before the county can officially put it on the ballot as a joint SPLOST between the municipalities.

While the meeting was a formality to provide the final form of the resolution, it did provide the actual document to be put forth to the cities and, if approved, ultimately put to a public vote for the next SPLOST cycle.

The SPLOST referendum is set to continue the current 1% sales tax that is currently in place. Even though the municipalities are preparing early, it will not overlap the current SPLOST cycle.

Below are the six pages of the referendum as it currently exists:

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Author

Gilmer County talks SPLOST with Ellijay and East Ellijay

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – A unique meeting saw the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners sitting with Ellijay Mayor Al Hoyle and East Ellijay Mayor Mack West to speak about the possibility of a new SPLOST cycle for the county as a whole.

While the Board of Commissioners could move forward with the SPLOST without the cities, joining together provides many benefits to each municipality including a more expansive list of projects without a state-regulated list of prioritization and a one-year-extension on the SPLOST cycle to make it a six-year program instead of just five years.

One of the major items needed in the meeting was an agreed amount that could be expected from the tax. According to regulations on the program, if a government puts forth a SPLOST and sets its expected return above what it actually receives, there is no penalty. However, if that SPLOST achieves the expected return early, no more collections could be made, causing a gap in collections and revenue from the sales tax.

With that in mind, the meeting came to a conclusion to estimate $31 million in revenue from the tax.

Both Mayors in the meeting looked to increase their city’s portions of the SPLOST in favor of rising costs of major projects, Hoyle spoke on Ellijay’s behalf saying that increase paving costs and projects that the city is in need of accomplishing could greatly benefit from an increase in their percentage.

Likewise, West echoed these concerns siting a specific project as they have repaved the area of Eller Road and the intersection at Highland Crossing before reaching Highway 515.

On the other hand, the county discussed the county’s continued financial pains attempting to pay back their bond debt, looking at the vast majority of their SPLOST collection dedicated to paying back that debt at close to $4 million a year.

Ultimately, the decisions came down very similar to how the SPLOST has been divided currently. With the County currently taking 92.35% of the SPLOST, they backed off the extra part of a percent making the division at an easy round number of the percentage.

The County will receive 92%.

Ellijay will receive 6%.

East Ellijay will receive 2%.

Still, this negotiation is preliminary. Each Mayor will now take the proposal back to their cities for approval before the county can approve the final agreement and move forward with offering the SPLOST option to a vote for citizens. If all goes according to plan and no major obstacles are met, It could mean citizens could see the vote for this on the ballot this November.

Author

Gainesville Company Pays Tax Reform Benefits Forward

Politics, Press Release

Gainesville Company Pays Tax Reform Benefits Forward

GAINESVILLE, Ga.—As President Trump delivers his first State of the Union address today, a northeast Georgia company is announcing its plan to deliver bonuses to its employees as a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Mincey Marble was established in 1977 in Gainesville as a manufacturer of cast marble products for hospitality, healthcare and other markets around the country. Donna Mincey, President and CEO of Mincey Marble, says that the tax reform package signed into law last December will directly benefit her company’s bottom line, which allows her to further invest in Mincey’s more than 300 employees, many of whom are hourly workers.

“As the owner of a family business, I want to share how tax reform is benefitting Americans at every level. Companies big and small are passing along tax savings to the workers who help build our economy. I hope that the bonuses Mincey Marble is providing encourage other businesses in our great state to pay it forward, because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the kind of meaningful change that can help transform communities by bringing relief to American workers and families,” said Mincey.

“Mincey Marble has been part of our community for decades, and their decision to pass along the company’s tax benefits to our hardworking neighbors is outstanding. I supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with President Trump knowing it would lead to lower taxes and higher paychecks for northeast Georgians. We’re already seeing the economic benefits of tax reform happening at corporate and grass-roots levels, and I’m always thrilled to hear individual stories of how smaller government helps people—like the team members at Mincey Marble—invest in bigger dreams,” said Collins.

Employees at Mincey Marble will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 depending on their length of service with the company. Even employees hired this year will see a bonus, and the checks are scheduled to arrive during the week of Valentine’s Day as a sign of the company’s appreciation for its associates.

Due in large part to their confidence in the Trump Administration’s pro-business agenda, Mincey Marble’s management team also made the decision in January 2017 to expand the size and operations of a new facility that is currently under construction in Gainesville.

Other Georgia companies that have increased employee benefits in the days since President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law include Aflac, Home Depot and Yancey Bros. Caterpillar Dealer.

Senator David Perdue Talks Tax & Immigration On Kudlow Radio Show

Politics, Press Release

 

Senator David Perdue Talks Tax & Immigration On Kudlow Radio Show

“President Trump has been instinctively in line with the American people on immigration all along”

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) joined Larry Kudlow on The Larry Kudlow Show to discuss how President Trump’s agenda has been instinctively in line with the American people, particularly on tax and immigration.

 

Starting Point: “A year ago, Tom Cotton and I started the conversation about fixing our legal immigration system, when we introduced the RAISE Act. This would move us to a merit-based immigration system, similar to that of Canada and Australia.”

 

Brilliant Move: “President Trump issued a brilliant framework for an immigration middle ground. I think he has been instinctively in line with the American people on immigration all along. Two-thirds of America want a DACA solution, but only if you provide for border security with a wall, end chain migration, and end the visa lottery.”

 

Real Opportunity: “When will conservatives ever have this kind of opportunity to solve the causes of the immigration problems we have now, including ending chain migration? Also, if Democrats are serious about solving DACA, how can they be against this reasonable solution the President laid out?”

 

Americans Agree: “Chuck Schumer offered up $25 billion for a wall. That tells me that Democrats are now admitting Americans want border security. They are seeing these polls showing that up to 80% of Americans want a wall. They know we need border security. President Trump isn’t going to give in on that point.”

 

Providing Certainty: “The President has done the right thing and put this back in the lap of Congress, which is where it should have been. President Obama just kicked the can down the road by providing temporary status. President Trump has said he’ll offer certainty for the DACA recipients.”

 

Solving Underlying Problem: “We want to ensure we aren’t back here in five years with the same problem. To do that we have to secure the border with a wall, end chain migration, and eliminate the outdated visa lottery.”

 

Economy Responding: “The more people and American companies we see responding positively to the tax bill, the more this is a generational change that will be simulative for our economy.”

 

Tremendous Impact: “We’ve had eight years of the federal government with its boot on the neck of small businesses with overregulation and policies that were anti-business. When you take that off, that has a tremendous impact.”

 

Assuring Our Allies: “Around the world they see an America reengaging after 8 years of disengagement. In Davos, President Trump said, ‘America first doesn’t mean America alone.’ I think that is sending a strong message to our allies and others around the world.”

 

 

Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.

Tax tips with Beth Bennett

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What’s changed in this year’s taxes? The differences and information on how 2018 and 2019 connect with federal law.

Commissioners grant final approval to 2018 budget

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners met Thursday, Dec. 21, for final approval of their 2018 budget before the new year.

Before the official vote, the commissioners presented a couple of final clerical notes to the budget where they changed language on one item to reflect the money allocation. The board changed a Public Works line item to phrase its project as lift station and/or scale as Public Works Director Jim Smith brought to light a recent issue with one of the solid waste department’s scales. In need of repair or replacement, this could preclude the lift station project from next year’s budget. Additionally, Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris added an item in the capital budget for an upgrade to the county’s digital storage and the 146 gigabyte share of the county server they have. The server does not have sufficient space. Therefore, an upgrade to storage was already included in the allocated money, but Paris stated he had not listed it as an item.

None of these items actually changed any money allocation or lines of the budget.

Citizens speaking at the meeting brought up discussion on items for the budget in the county. Gilmer resident Joene DePlancke asked about the county’s golf course funding and revenue. Paris offered that this year represents the first year that the course is standing alone, meaning revenue will be equal to expenditures. However, it was also noted the “break even” did not include capital expenditures for the facility. Still, the commissioners noted confidence that the facility is continuing its progress towards a revenue generation for the county.

Citizen Dan Meadows commented on the county’s work session and Gilmer County Post Commissioner Dallas Miller’s comments about the budget and funding for Public Works versus Public Safety. Seeking alternative paths to funding, Meadows questioned possibilities to utilize SPLOST or grants for employee funding. Much of the citizens’ input revolved around the conversations of funding raises and employee retention while avoiding inter-department tensions or funding re-allocations as mentioned in the county’s December work session. Additionally, DePlancke suggested utilizing volunteers throughout the county when possible.

Citizen Donald Patrick echoed the same sentiments stating the county needs to keep good people in these departments. He noted the issues with training and paying an employee but losing a potential employee to neighboring counties who may offer $1000 to $2000 more in pay.

Commissioners confirmed to those present that no additional changes had been made to Public Safety after the suggestions, and Paris reaffirmed previous comments about the progress the road department had made through capital funding in recent years. Find out more on the topic and discussion with “December meetings continue commissioners’ budget conversation.”

Final approval came for the 2018 budget with a motion from Gilmer County Post Commissioner Travis Crouch and a second from Miller.

Author

Bids and appointments prepare commissioners for 2018

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners entered the year’s end awarding last-minute bids for 2018 and appointing board members and positions for the county.

Awarding the 2018 Tax Anticipatory Note (TAN) produced four bids. The two lowest bids came from Southstate Bank with a variable rate currently at 1.696 percent and Regions Bank with a fixed rate at 1.93 percent. Though Southstate is currently lower, the commissioners noted the variable rate has already jumped from 1.53 percent in the first week of November.

Since the commissioners are not expecting to utilize the TAN until August or September of 2018, and noting upward pressure on rates, the motion came to approve Regions Bank’s fixed rate of 1.93 percent.

Along the same item, the banking services for 2018 was bid as well. Five banks offered bids with two bids being offered contingent on winning the TAN bid as well. The three left included United Community Bank with $50 monthly service charges and a 0.65 percent interest rate, Parks Sterling Bank with no monthly charges and a 0.15 percent interest rate, and Chase with its interest rate made to offset the service charges.

Currently, the county is using United Community Bank. As discussion went through their work session, the board began considering the costs of transferring accounts, including ordering new checks. Making the motion for approval, Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris stated, “Given the offer and also considering the expense of making a change, it would be my opinion that we should just continue with United Community Bank.” The motion was unanimously approved.

Another bid approved during December was the emulsion bids. Originally bid with other materials previously, Gilmer County Public Works Director Jim Smith stated the county only had one bid at the time and another vendor claimed it did not receive the notification for bid. Rebidding now, Ergon Asphault Emulsions, $2.30 per gallon for CRS2L and $1.85 per gallon for CRS2H, and Hudson Materials, $2.06 per gallon for CRS2L and $1.72 per gallon for CRS2H, made offerings.

As low bidder, Hudson Materials was approved for emulsion material beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

The county is moving forward with a lease agreement with the Gilmer Chamber to occupy the Watkins House located downtown. The agreement will allow for the Chamber to create a downtown welcome center and display space. Although other entities are interested in the space, such as Gilmer ARTS and the historical society, both looking to display items in the building, the county is set to main lease to the Chamber while allowing them to decide on sub-leasings for space and display.

The agreement is still in its early stages, but indications suggest the county will be maintaining the space while the Chamber pays for utilities. Rent would be negligible, one suggestion indicated a dollar per year. With the agreement beginning, Chairman Paris suggested the Chamber interest could see utilization of the space as early as spring.

As the agreement moves forward, citizens can expect to revisit the item in coming months for approvals by the board.

The other items for the meeting included several board and position appointments to new and open terms through the county:

Lex Rainey and Don Callihan were appointed to the Gilmer/Pickens Joint Development Authority;

Jim DuPont and Alan Davenport were reappointed to the Planning Commission Board;

Tony Pritchett was appointed as County Legislative Coordinator; and

Cathy Green was appointed to the Northwest Georgia Region 1 Emergency Medical Services Council.

Check out more on the commissioners’ December meeting with “December meetings continue commissioners’ budget conversation.”

Author

Collins Answers Questions at Tax Reform Final Passage

State & National

Collins Answers Questions at Tax Reform Final Passage

WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) joined Fox News today to address questions as the House voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s final passage.

Collins also said of today’s vote, “The House just took the final, confident step to send pro-family, pro-growth, pro-hope tax reform to President Trump’s desk. This process started in the House, and I’m excited to have voted to keep our promise to the American people—again.”

 

On who will see the benefit of tax reform:

“The majority of Americans are going to see money in their pockets. . . . That’s the kind of growth we’re looking for, that’s the kind of thing that, come Februarywhen they see their paychecksthey’re going to know that what we’re talking about here actually matters to the American public.”

On Democrats’ claims that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a bad bill:

“The problem here is not the tax code. The problem here is that [Democrats] want to politicize the tax code because they believe that the government is a much better way to spend people’s money. . . . Come February, let them look some of their constituents in the eyes and say, ‘You know, I really didn’t want you to get that money back in your paycheck. We could spend it better.’ That will be an interesting argument.”

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