Interesting article in the Gainesville Times today regarding ad valorem taxes. In 1975, the state legislature mandated that Hall County collect these taxes in two installments. For some reason, it never happened. The county continues to collect ad valorem taxes once a year.

In November, county residents overwhelmingly voted on a non-binding referendum to split these collections into two bills per year.

To wit: Both the law and will of the people have dictated that ad valorem taxes be collected in two installments. Seems like an easy political decision, doesn’t it? The law and electorate are on the same side.

Commissioner Steve Gailey agrees. “I’m going to look at what the people wanted…It’s not even issue of whether we want to do it, we’re supposed to be doing it,” he said.

Chairman Tom Oliver disagrees. “I support one tax bill and leaving it the way it is…If we send out a second tax bill and make it mandatory in this economic climate I don’t think it’s fair to the property owners in our community.”

The Commission will vote on the proposal this afternoon at 5 pm.

  1. This is the easiest political decision that the Hall County Commission will ever have to make. Why would Oliver feel like making a stand on this?
  2. It would be pretty cool if Gailey and Oliver could, perhaps, actually agree on something once in a while.
  3. Oliver’s opposition on the grounds that it’s unfair to the property owners in our community is disingenuous. The people spoke, and it doesn’t raise anyone’s taxes. One might make the argument that it actually helps property owners by reducing one large bill into two smaller distributions.

Everything doesn’t have to be a partisan issue. Just change tax collections and move on. It’s like we’re trapped in some bizarro-world where even the easiest of decisions becomes a grand noble exercise of independent patriotism.

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