Time is very short. Below is an Open Letter to Gwinnett Taxpayers which the Gwinnett Daily Post printed yesterday. I hope you will read it and pass this email along to as many Gwinnett residents and businesses as you can. Also, please call the commissioners and express your outrage at their failure to reduce county government 770-822-7010 Charles Bannister
770-822-7001 Shirley Lasseter
770-822-7002 Best Nasuti
770-822-7003 Mike Beaudreau
770 822-7004 Kevin Kenerly
Time is very short. Below is an Open Letter to Gwinnett Taxpayers which the Gwinnett Daily Post printed yesterday. I hope you will read it and pass this email along to as many Gwinnett residents and businesses as you can. Also, please call the commissioners and express your outrage at their failure to reduce county government
770-822-7010 Charles Bannister
OPEN LETTER TO GWINNETT TAXPAYERS MAY 22, 2009
As mayor of Suwanee, I can attest firsthand that local governments are profoundly affected by these challenging economic times. I can also promise that the Suwanee City Council is doing everything in its power to hold the line on taxes.
People are hurting. Many have lost jobs or taken pay cuts. Businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. Nonprofits are trying to survive. Everyone seems to be doing whatever they can keep costs down. Well, not everyone.
Earlier this week, our Gwinnett County Commissioners announced their plan to raise your property taxes by more than 25 percent - 30 percent if you live in a city - so they can expand their 2009 budget by about 10 percent over their 2008 budget. We don't have the exact figures because they still won't publish the budget they adopted March 3.
You see, even though we're nearly halfway into the fiscal year, without their budget document, the public is being kept in the dark. Our commissioners are ballooning county government in the worst economy anyone can remember.
Forty-three million of this enormous $87 million property tax increase isn't even planned to be spent in 2009 - they're socking it away in something called "working capital reserve." Our commissioners have decided it's better to overtax you and hoard those dollars than for you to pay your mortgage, health care or for your kids' education.
Under the guise of public safety, our commissioners have hatched a curious plan to hire 170 more officers to start patrolling inside cities that are already policed effectively by the cities. This wasteful and dangerous duplication will require another $17 to 20 million of your money in new taxes - can't know for certain without the budget. Sheriff Butch Conway calls their scheme a "terrible mistake."
Growing the size of government in these economic times is exactly the wrong thing for any elected body. It's quite obvious that our commissioners are oblivious to the reality that the rest of us face. We're cutting back, yet they're expanding their county largesse and sending us the bill. And it's going to be a whopper.
State law requires our commissioners hold three public hearings at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center before they set these new tax rates. Two are scheduled for Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day. The third is June 2, after which the county will vote on the new tax rate.
I plan to attend all of them, and hope you will, too.
Have we learned anything from the county's recent "trash plan" episode? This time, will we make our voices heard to our elected commissioners before they take action on this outrageous tax hike?
If not, brace yourself for a doozie of a county tax bill.
Dave Williams, Mayor
City of Suwanee, GA
This letter is posted with the permission of the writer.