As of Friday, February 8, 2013
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
Under the guise of protecting homeowners from foreclosure and the IRS, Georgia House Bill 159 seeks to have all fees billed separate from our property tax bill. While that sounds like a good idea on the surface, I can find no record of any Georgia property owner being foreclosed upon solely for non-payment of fees. Secondly, protecting us from the IRS is akin to NYC's jumbo soft drink ban.
In fact, this bill, if passed, will have two negative impacts -- the cost of billing will increase and the amount of bad debt will increase. Both of these additional costs will be passed along to homeowners in the form of higher fees to cover these shortfalls.
Most local politicians I know complain about unfunded federal mandates to the states but seem to have no problem when the state proposes unfunded mandates to the counties or municipalities. HB 159 proposes a classic unfunded state mandate, and worst of all is being sponsored by a local legislator who campaigned on fiscal responsibility and efficient effective government. HB 159 will produce neither.
Additionally, the same legislator is attempting to alter the Gwinnett Storm Water Authority through local legislation that will ultimately increase those fees. This is bad legislation and I urge every Gwinnettian to contact their state senator and representative to oppose HB 159 as well as the local legislation.
-- James H. Jimmy Orr Jr.,