Gwinnett County Is Bizarro World

I’m beginning to understand why the Gwinnett Braves stadium deal happened.

Here is Commissioner Lorraine Green’s “tax relief” proposal.

Green said the property taxes would be replaced with a 1 percent sales tax – the homestead option sales tax, or HOST. She said she anticipates the sales tax could generate $157 million a year, enough to offer homeowners a 100 percent homestead exemption and eliminate the stormwater fee. Gwinnett County collected $242 million in property tax revenue in the 2008 fiscal year, of which $107 million came from owner-occupied residential property, Green said.

The plan would have to be approved by voters, but a referendum could appear on ballots as early as next spring. Green said she plans to push forward with this plan if elected chairwoman of the Gwinnett County Commission. She’s running against Charles Bannister, the current Commission chairman, who said he had the idea first, and Glenn Pirkle, an electrical contractor for Buford, in the Republican primary on July 15.

If the plan is approved, the sales tax would have to be collected for a year before the property taxes could be rolled back, Green said. The money collected through the sales tax would be used for capital programs – and Green said she wants to build a county-operated rail transit system to relieve traffic congestion.

Here is how this works:
Year 1 — Introduce sales tax.
Year 2 — Eliminate property tax.

Hmmm…so we are replacing one source of tax revenue with another. However, during the transition the county collects revenue from both revenue streams. Ms. Green, that’s a tax increase, coupled with a Lyle Lanley approved monorail.

But, the saddest part is that the incumbent commission chair, Charles Bannister, rather than pointing this out, claims that Green stole the idea from her. Unbelievable.

For those of you who openly complain that I write too much about Gwinnett County, I wrote this post just to piss you off. No, I’m not joking.

11 Responses “Gwinnett County Is Bizarro World”

  1. David says:

    I like the branching out into general information about Gwinnett County. It fits well with being able to ultimately write a book about the Gwinnett Braves.

  2. Rick C. says:

    J.C., this is your blog and you should write about whatever you want to. This whole Gwinnett stadium fiasco looks like it’s going to cost the taxpayers some serious dollars and is therefore a matter that deserves much attention and scrutiny. Unfortunately, you appear to be the only person willing to expose the truth about it. Although I don’t live in Gwinnett County (I live in SC), this type of behavior by politicians takes place everywhere, and this situation shows the importance of keeping a very close eye on our elected officials.

    I’m tired of seeing people’s comments complaining about the Gwinnett posts. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

  3. JC says:

    While there is a book here, I don’t think there is enough appeal for it to be written. And I don’t think I’m the best person to write it, since I don’t know the personalities involved. Ideally, a Gwinnett Daily Post reporter would do it, but that would require putting down the pompons.

  4. JC says:

    Thanks Rick!

  5. Terry says:

    Thanks for continuing to expose the boondoggle that is public funding of sports complexes.

  6. Matt C. says:

    JC-
    I think its great that you show that you chat about home. We all live in a community and they all are impacted in some manner similar to your experience. For example I live in Maryland and at the Orioles games and on TV they advertise the “Double Bubble” scratch off from the Maryland Lottery. This wouldn’t erk me so much if the bastard politicians didn’t complain so much about how other “vice” product producing companies marketed to children.

    It also helps to pay the one of the first great Stadium boondoggles by the state of Maryland. So, in short, keep bitchin’ and it’ll hopefully get through to others.

  7. Ken Houghton says:

    So the scenario looks like this:

    There will be a year while the stadium is being built. During that year, there will be both sales and property taxes collected.

    Voila! The stadium was paid for “without a tax increase” (other than the ones already approved).

    Btw, am I the only one confused as to how a maybe-$157MM tax will replace a $242MM tax with no impact? Are they planning to keep taxing “owner-occupied rental property”??

  8. Freddie Hayek says:

    Oh man, y’all’ve got two politicians up there bickering over who was ingeneous enough to come with the brilliant “plan” to raise a new sales tax. Almost seems like your county commissioners are secret agents sent by Liberty Media.

    On behalf of worldwide Braves fans living OUTSIDE of Gwinnett County, we thank you for your generous corporate welfare (ie stadium)!

  9. Simon says:

    Would the AAA Braves like to move to London UK? We are spending £9bn or $18bn on the olympics for 2012. We haven’t found a sports team who want to move into the stadium when we’re done with it after 3 weeks yet!

  10. K-Funk says:

    JC, the joke’s on you. I enjoyed your post due to the Simpsons reference.

  11. Don Shaw says:

    JC- I think everyone over at the Justice Center (GJAC) has drank the coolaide.

    We lower the mileage rate but increase the property assesments. ????

    We now are justifying the lower dollar amount on the Staium naming rights. Why can we not get the 1.5 million that they thought, it is now getting blamed on the slow economy. It now is looking like we are going to get the amount that was in the feasebilty study (650K), is that a strange fate?? Think not!!

    We guarentee 28 million in bonds against property tax and now we are talking about doing away with them??

    It looks like we will have the most expensive AAA ticket in the country at the new staium. What a great deal for those of us who live in the county and are paying for the stadium.

    I can only hope our voters will remember all of this during the elections.