Sometimes I wonder what residents in the City of Gainesville think about the city and its future. At the beginning of the year, the current Mayor gave the state of the city address at the City Council meeting. He mostly talked about how the city is wonderful, awesome, spectacular, amazing, fantastic, stupendous, perfect and rich. He also said. “Our success is based, in part, on the relationships we have with neighboring cities, Hall County, our local legislative delegation, those of you who call Gainesville home…” I’ll come back to the issues in the quote later. The meeting ended with the tax flush city dropping $175,000 on upgrading a park. I’ll admit Gainesville does have a great park system. I think they should with all the funds they spend on it.
By the time mid January got here the Mayor was pontificating the possibility of squeezing some extra revenue by taxing churches and 501c3’s (501c3 is the designation for non-profits/charities.) Yes I really said that, taxing churches and 501c3’s. Not really sure why anyone wanting to be re-elected would say that out loud. Also if Gainesville is in such good shape in every area why beat up on charities and churches looking for more taxes? Or is that why Gainesville is in good shape?
Later in the month the State had to do a little reality check for Gainesville. Unfortunately unemployment went up in the month of December. This to me is a little confusing for such a “Perfect City” being that so many temp jobs are available for the holiday season. I’m sure the Mayor was probably thinking of a way to tax unemployed people when he got the news. The only good new was that Gainesville’s unemployment rate was lower than the state average.
The City’s community development department then followed the unemployment news with more good news. Can you believe that 65% of all city residents are renters? That means 2 out of every 3 residents rent instead of own. Somehow they tried to spin the information as a positive for the city. Meanwhile the Mayor was probably thinking of a way to tax renters when he got the news.
When good news comes in it just doesn’t seem to stop. GALEO notified the city they are looking into the possibility of suing the city. GALEO thinks the city’s at-large voting system is discriminatory. GALEO’s argument is that 35% of over 18 year old adults are Hispanic and the at-large system is being used to disenfranchise them at the voting booth. But I’m sure the mayor probably thought every thing is wonderful in Gainesville. I’m sure he has a plan to tax Hispanics.
Then comes the kicker, remember how I said I would come back to the quote near the top? The mayor talked about what a great relationship the city and the county (Hall County) have. Well the county sent a letter to the city saying, sorry Gainesville, you’re out of SPLOST money. Hall County and Gainesville love each other so much that on top of stopping SPLOST payments to Gainesville the 2 are arguing or going to court on multiple issues that I’ll discuss in a future blog post. But be sure they do truly get along and everything is hunky dory. And I’m sure the mayor has a plan to tax someone for all these issues.
So again I ask, what do you residents in the City of Gainesville think about the city and its future? Also when are you going to get tired of the huge tax rates? Remember this November you have the opportunity to make a change. Now the real question is will you do anything or re-elect the tax and spend councilmen you already have?