I attended the Flowery Branch City Council meeting tonight to watch them raise my taxes for a 3rd consecutive year by a vote of 3 to 1 with Mayor Mike Miller casting the deciding vote and Councilman Joe Anglin casting the dissenting vote. The issue that I have is that only one person, Councilman Anglin, even tried to offer an alternative. The rest just waffled around with the exception of the Mayor who took some kind of informal poll that said 50+ people wanted the tax increase while only 7 were against it; of course, no one spoke out against it. But to really see the impact, we need to break down all of the tax increases.
The first increase was LOST. This was the silent tax increase. As it has been noted here Local Option Sales Tax was designed for property tax relief. In other words, the 1 penny sales tax is supposed to be used to roll back our property tax. Needless to say, Flowery Branch never rolled back the property tax. The city budget anticipates $810,000 in LOST next year. With the city benefiting by 110.07%, the proper rollback would have been about 1.64 mils.
The second increase was more straight forward as it was a real millage rate increase of .5 mils. Once again the lone dissenting vote came from Council Member Anglin.
The final tax increase came tonight when the council voted to absorb the increased assessments rather than do a rollback. This ended up being a .314 mil increase.
All together I have experienced a milage rate increase of 2.28 mils. This is real money. In total, this year it will cost the Commissioner Chuck household $308.35 this year. The problem is that we the people have let our elected officials slide on their responsibility to the voters. So here is the deal, the first person to knock on my door after qualifying to run against either Councilmember Mary Jones, Councilmember Fred Richards, or Mayor Mike Miller AND signs a no tax increase pledge, I will contribute $308.35 to your campaign.
If our council refuses to work for us, then it is time to encourage more people to run.