Local News

January 6, 2013

Property tax relief for all, or some?

County wants to give a break to homeowners

(Continued)

Penalizing businesses

But state Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, says what commissioners want will more likely take a change in the LOST law, since that is what the county has, not the HOST law. He says he has already asked the legislative counsel to look into the idea.

“They were a little bit wary. The general rule is that you can’t charge a different millage rate. Everybody has to pay the same rate. The HOST is a bit of an anomaly in Georgia. But they agreed to do some more homework and try to see if we can do it in a way that complies with the state constitution,” Bethel said. “If we get an unfavorable report, then we have to decide if we want to try to change the state constitution. If we get a favorable report, then we have to see if others are interested in this. It will require a change to a state law, this can’t be done through local legislation, and if only a few counties are interested it would be an uphill battle.”

Bethel said he’s interested in providing tax relief to homeowners.

“At the same time, I’m wary about just shifting the tax burden. If you shift the tax burden away from single-family residential, then you shift it towards business and industry and to everybody who lives in rental properties and apartments,” he said.

Dalton Mayor David Pennington says he is very concerned about any proposal that would shift the tax burden to commercial and industrial property.

“Right now, we need businesses to come in or expand and create jobs. We don’t need to be penalizing them,” he said.

Noting that Dalton’s tax base is 70 percent commercial and industrial and just 30 percent residential, Pennington said the plan would also penalize the city.

“This would tax city taxpayers for services to the unincorporated part of the county,” he said. “We would oppose this.”

Pennington says that if commissioners want to give relief to homeowners they should cut their property tax rate.

But Babb noted that the county has already taken several steps to help business, such as adopting a 100 percent freeport exemption and, unlike some other neighboring counties, refusing to adopt an excise tax on energy used in manufacturing after the state decided to phase out the sales tax on such energy.

“I don’t see how anybody can look at our record and say we are anti-business. But we do think the tax burden has shifted too much onto the homeowner and now it’s time to give them some relief,” he said.

Brian Anderson, president of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, said, “We appreciate that our county commissioners are looking at this in a holistic and strategic manner to make sure not only that they are providing quality services at the lowest possible cost but that revenue is being assessed in a fair and equitable manner. We ask only that everyone who is benefiting from those services pay adequately for them.

“We believe our county officials, and our city officials as well, are dedicated to keeping this community an attractive place to do business and to keeping us competitive with other communities.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014

  • Beaulieu to close operations for one week for inventory

    Floorcovering giant Beaulieu of America will conduct a physical inventory of its buildings and facilities next week, with only salaried employees reporting for work.

    July 30, 2014

  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014