You may have read about the State of the County speech given Tuesday.  Enough has been said about having to pay to hear it and the doubtful probability that our local media would cover it for the rest of us working stiffs, but AccessNorthGA did have this little ditty. 

Hall County Commission Chairman Tom Oliver Thursday continued to push his proposal for the county to do its own collecting when it comes to sales taxes rather than letting the state handle it… 

Wow.  Read that quote again: “…Oliver…continued to push his proposal…”  

Oh how soon we forget.  It seems that Oliver’s proposal sounds an awful lot like the Georgia General Assembly 2009 House Bill 356.   

Today, House Democrats introduced a new bill designed to begin the process of reforming Georgia’s outdated tax code…It puts the power to collect sales taxes in the hands of local government, and ends the state government’s monopoly on collection. 

By the way the date on that press release was Feb. 10, 2009.  

It is not Oliver taking credit for a democratic idea that really gets me steam (pretty sure it wasn’t original with democrats either), but it is Oliver’s continued bashing of our republican leaders.  These people were elected by the same people that elected him, but he continues to characterize state goverment as ineffective and inefficient without assigning blame to those that have created this problem. 

Oliver told the Greater Hall County Chamber group the county is losing 30 percent of its sales tax revenue to what he called ‘confusion’ at the state revenue department. 

So Oliver doesn’t like the republican controlled state revenue department, yet he has no problem belonging to the very organization that installed that confused collection of commissioners. 

And if that doesn’t get you fired up, what about his call for republican leaders to draft legislation that has already been written by House democratic leaders.  

Oliver said the Commission wants local legislators to introduce a bill allowing Hall County to collect its own sales tax instead of the state collecting it and ‘sending back what they think the county needs’. 

Of course there may be more to this than meets the eye.  Oliver goes on to accuse state leaders of using the misplaced sales tax dollars to pad the state budget. 

“I think it will set a precedent,” Oliver said. “We’re the only county pushing it, the problem is they’re going to push back at the state level because of that 30 percent that does not come back here, the state uses in their budget.” 

So if the state keeps 30% of the county money, would Tom Oliver be tempted to keep an additional 30% of the state’s money.  One of our local state representatives once said, “If you think state government is corrupt, you ought to look at local governments.”  

Oh well, back to the drawing board.