On July 19, 1879, Griffin, Georgia native John Henry “Doc” Holliday killed Mike Gordon after Gordon shot up Holliday’s saloon in Las Vegas, New Mexico.
The Georgia State Quarter was released on July 19, 1999.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Gwinnett County Commissioners voted by a 3-2 margin to set a higher property tax millage rate.
Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash and Commissioners Lynette Howard and Jace Brooks voted for the millage rate increase, while Commissioners John Heard and Tommy Hunter voted against it. The overall rate was set at 13.51 mills, and that includes the higher operations rate of 7.4 mills.
The higher rate is intended to balance the county budget while also setting aside money to address employee hiring and retention issues, particularly in the county’s public safety departments.
“We need to make sure we’re not 7 percent behind our peers in compensation (and) we need to make sure we slow down the attrition rate,” Howard said. “That’s why I can’t support a rollback of the millage rate.”
An increase in the rate means taxes will go up, but the exact amount per home varies depending on the fair market and taxable values, as well as whether the homeowner has homestead and value offset exemptions.
The City of Atlanta and the United Way of Greater Atlanta are committing $51 million to fight against homelessness.
On Monday, the city council agreed to a $26 million bond commitment that will be added to $25 million promised by the United Way.
The plan – called the Homeless Opportunity Bond – comes in five different parts aimed at countering different types of homelessness. The overall goal, Reed said in a statement, is to make homelessness “rare, brief and non-recurring.”
The biggest chunk will go to buying or renovating 500 permanent homes. These will be available for the chronically homeless, who are people who have a mental or physical disability and have either been consistently homeless for over a year or had four spates of homelessness in the last three years.
Only about 13 percent of Atlanta’s homeless population are believed to be chronically homeless, according to last year’s estimates from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The second part of the bond will go toward securing 300 units for “rapid rehousing.” This is another popular policy nationwide. It quickly puts people who are on the verge of becoming homeless into temporary housing, providing them a chance to put together a plan for a permanent home themselves.
The Georgia Lottery Corp. transferred $1.1 billion to the state treasury in FY 2017.
The record transfer surpasses last year’s, which was boosted by a world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.
Georgia Lottery players won $2.74 billion in prizes in fiscal year 2017, and retailers earned more than $268 million in commissions.
Fiscal year 2017 spanned from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.
All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including the Hope Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.7 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.4 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary pre-kindergarten program.
Fort Gordon will receive $85 million in federal funding after the House passed the defense authorization act for 2018.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018, passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, provides funding toward the move of the U.S. Army Cyber Command to Fort Gordon and military construction projects, said Rep. Rick Allen.
The legislation must still be approved by the Senate.
“For the past nine years we’ve been flat-lined so we’re trying to catch up,” he said regarding the bill and its effort to restore appropriate funding for troops on Monday.
The Georgia Senate Special Tax Exemption Study Committee began hearings on Tuesday.
A Georgia Senate committee on Tuesday began what could be a years-long study to determine whether the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks the state gives industries and individuals each year do what they were designed to do.
State Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, who heads the special panel, told colleagues there is no way they will be able to finish going through the dozens of income tax credits and sales tax breaks the General Assembly has approved by the end of the year.
“I am more interested in lowering everyone’s income taxes and not having credits be so prevalent in Georgia,” state Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Atlanta, a member of the committee, said Tuesday.
Whether lawmakers approve a tax break in the first place generally depends on how good lobbyists for specific businesses and industries are at selling their proposal. Lobbyists packed the meeting room Tuesday for the committee’s first hearing.
Albers said, “We are going into this with no preconceived notions.”
Gainesville Board of Education members will be given three millage rate options by the superintendent.
Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Jeremy Williams said he will present three options to the school board to consider before it votes on a tax rate in September to fund its 2018 fiscal year budget.
The Gainesville school board approved a $70.1 million budget for the 2017-18 year in June. That budget required more than $2 million coming out of the school system’s fund balance if the millage rate remained at the current 6.85 mills. The millage rate equals $1 of taxes on every $1,000 of taxable value.
Williams said he wants to have three options for the board to consider before voting on a tax rate and the cost to the fund balance associated with each.
“What we anticipate doing is when we bring the millage rate forward is looking at the different options, looking at the current millage rate and seeing what that will require, the full rollback rate and maybe somewhere in between,” Williams said. “We’ll look at those three options. If we need more than that, if we need to look at somewhere in between those three, we would.”
Guyton City Council may revisit its recently adopted budget.
Mayor Jeff Lariscy said at the council’s July 11 meeting that if the current 2.2 millage rate is to be maintained, cash reserves might have to be used, which could leave the city short if unforeseen issues arise.
Lariscy also said he and the council members are required to review thoroughly the last five years of tax receipts, as reported by Effingham County Tax Assessor, Linda McDaniel. Collections have been stagnant, reflecting the recent state of real estate in Guyton and the extended community.
Lariscy reported he and council members will be reviewing the budget and the millage rate over the next week. If they decide to propose a millage rate higher than the current 2.2 rate, the city will have to schedule three public hearings before Sept. 1.
Lariscy suggests residents “stay tuned” for such an announcement. He also reminded the public that residential tax receipts only account for between eight to 10 percent of city receipts.
Varnell City Council will hold a public meeting to discuss the recently-closed municipal police department.
The City Council will hold a called meeting [Thursday night] at 7 at City Hall, 1025 Tunnel Hill Varnell Road N.W.
A press release announcing the meeting says it will be “for the sole purpose of a public discussion and conversation with citizens of the city of Varnell concerning the issue of dissolving the Varnell Police Department. No action will be taken by the mayor and council other than hearing from and communicating with the citizens.”
Council members voted 3-1 on July 10 to abolish the police department with council members Andrea Gordy, Jan Pourquoi and Mayor Pro Tem David Owens voting for the measure and council member Ashlee Godfrey voting against the move. Mayor Anthony Hulsey, who only votes in the case of a tie, vetoed the measure two days later. The council will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Varnell gym and council members could vote then to overturn Hulsey’s veto.
Cherokee County, Woodstock, and Canton have agreed on how to split proceeds from a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax that will be on the November ballot.
The present one-cent SPLOST expires next year. If voters approve in November, the new tax would take effect July 2018 and raise nearly $253 million for county and city capital projects.
According to an intergovernmental agreement recently approved by the Woodstock and Canton city councils, the county would collect the tax, keep about 70 percent and divvy up the rest among its seven cities. Woodstock and Canton, the county’s two largest cities, would get roughly 12.2 percent and 10.4 percent of total revenues, respectively.
Republican Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle has added fighting poverty to his pitch in the 2018 election for Governor.
In his first public event in Gainesville since launching his campaign in May, Cagle spoke to an audience of more than 200 people during a meeting at the Kiwanis Club of Gainesville at the First Baptist Church on Green Street about his campaign.
On policy, Cagle gave what was for the most part his stump speech: Build out infrastructure (including tunneling under Atlanta, building suspended roads and harnessing the port in Savannah), expand alternative education opportunities and continue workforce development programs from the state.
But new this time around was a discussion about how the state should use its accelerating economic growth to help the poor.
“I can tell you fundamentally that metro Atlanta, certainly in our area, we’re seeing great economic prosperity,” Cagle told the Kiwanis Club. “But you can go to Sen. Tyler Harper’s area or Sen. Greg Kirk’s area in Sumter County and Ocilla, and you’ll see they’re losing population.”
Close to the end of his remarks, Cagle reminded the audience from Gainesville’s business community, elected officials and government employees that “this poverty issue is real.”
He said that 25 percent of Georgia children live in poverty.
“These individual kids are going to need to have a community resource center built around them, to where if they’re coming out of a family that has no parental involvement, where we can get mentors in there to help those (children), if it’s food, if it’s clothing — all of those things,” Cagle said. “I’m talking to one of the greatest civic organizations in the world. You are part of a commitment and a desire to serve.”
“Imagine if we all, collectively, took on this challenge of solving poverty and giving kids the skills that they need and an opportunity for a better way of life.”
Democrat Stacey Abrams held an event in Columbus for her 2018 campaign for Governor.
Stacey Abrams, the House Minority Leader who is running for Georgia governor, introduced her plans for strong education, economic diversity and good government during a campaign stop Tuesday at the Frank D. Chester Recreation Center in Columbus.
“I’m running for the whole state of Georgia,” Abrams told about 70 supporters in the gym at the Benning Drive center. The Democrat, who grew up in Mississippi, is expected to face a stiff challenge from both parties in the 2018 race. Columbus was one stop on a 10-city tour after she kicked off her campaign in Albany.
Abrams said reforming education is important but it is also about expanding what people think about going from cradle to career, educating bold and ambitious children and building a thriving and diverse economy.
“The issue is not just more jobs,” she said. “It is good paying jobs and that going to be the focus. To make those things happen, government has to work for everyone. Voter suppression is an import issue. You can’t get people to trust their government if you can’t get people to participate in it.”
The state lawmaker supports expanding Medicaid, which would provide more jobs.
“Building an economy is important but also important to start helping entrepreneurs,” she said. “If you think about criminal justice reform, think how we make sure everyone who touched government that we fixed it so it works for them.”
Democrat Chalis Montgomery announced she will run against Republican Congressman Jody Hice in 2018.
[Montgomery is] centering her campaign on a call for universal healthcare. Her announcement tells of her 9-year-old daughter Gwen, who suffers from the pre-existing condition of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and thus is covered by the Affordable Care Act.
She said Hice, who voted to repeal and replace the measure this year after initial concerns that it didn’t shave costs too deeply, took a stance that is “devastating to children like her.”
She faces a tougher battle than candidates eyeing nearby suburban Atlanta districts, like the newly-competitive Sixth and Seventh Districts, where changing demographics and skepticism to Trump have buoyed Democratic hopes. Trump easily carried the 10th District and Hice, who captured two-thirds of the vote when first elected in 2014, didn’t even face an opponent in November.
From Flagpole in Athens,
One of the last speakers was Chalis Montgomery, a Barrow County Democrat who’s challenging Republican Rep. Jody Hice. She said she has a brother with Down syndrome and that Medicaid enables him to live independently. “No cuts, no caps!” she said.
Herman West, brother of former Florida Republican Congressman Allen West, will run against Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop in the Second Congressional District.
Control of Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District could come down to a longtime incumbent versus a conservative newcomer looking for change in the district.
The 2nd District covers several counties in the News 3 viewing area, including Chattahoochee, Clay, Marion, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, and Webster Counties.The district also covers part of Muscogee County.
West grew up on a farm in Randolph County. He believes in bringing several small businesses back to the area where he grew up. West’s brother Allen served as a Florida congressman from 2011-2013.
News 3 spoke with West’s senior advisor, who says despite not having any political experience, West’s message could resonate with thousands of voters who live in the 2nd District.
“The 2nd District is still one of the poorest districts in the United States,” Eddie Pritchett said. “And that puts a strain on larger cities like Columbus, because people from the 2nd District come to Columbus and use our services. And unfortunately, they’re not taxpayers.”
Pritchett adds West supports President Trump’s platform “Make America Great Again.” West also wants to find another way to provide affordable health care to US citizens.