Tifton Gazette

Opinion

October 9, 2008

Vote ‘No’ on forest amendment

To encourage the preservation of Georgia’s forests through a conservation use property tax reduction program.

House Resolution No. 1276

Resolution Act No. 702

Ga. L. 2008, p. 1209

“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the General Assembly by general law shall encourage the preservation,

conservation, and protection of the state’s forests through the special assessment and taxation of certain forest lands and assistance grants to local government?”



The above is an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that voters will be asked to vote on in the current election. While the wording indicates that this is a program to protect the state’s forests, this is not a state land purchase set aside for the benefit of all Georgians. It is in reality a bill to provide property tax relief for paper companies and others that have forest land holdings in excess of 2,000 acres. While the bill states that it is for land holders with more than 200 acres, there is, and has been for a number of years a provision in Georgia law, Title 48-5-7.4, which provides conservation tax relief for farmers and land owners having holdings up to 2,000 acres.

The effect of this new bill will be that Georgia taxpayers will be subsidizing the beneficiaries of this bill. The bill provides for the legislature to set aside funds to cover tax revenues lost by the counties, municipalities and school districts where these tracts of lands are located. These funds would come from taxes collected across the state. In the event there are insufficient funds available to compensate these taxing districts, as is the current situation with state government, then they will most probably have to increase local property taxes.

I provide this information so that you may better understand the amendment and its implications for all Georgians.



Ken Suggs

Lilburn

1
Text Only
Opinion
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Seasonal Content
Business Marquee
Weather Radar
Video
SW Ga. Sacred Harp group at Folklife Festival in Tifton
Balloons released in Fitzgerald honoring fallen balloonist
Riding the Steam Train at Ga. Museum of Agriculture
Poll

Do you plan to watch any of the Republican National Convention?

Yes
No
     View Results
Poll

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

No
Yes
     View Results
Poll

Do you plan to watch any of the Republican National Convention?

Yes
No
     View Results
Poll

Do you plan to watch any of the Republican National Convention?

Yes
No
     View Results
Poll

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

No
Yes
     View Results
Poll

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

No
Yes
     View Results