Friday, May 29, 2009

Commission Chairman Charles Bannister re: Property Tax Increase

Welcome, as most of you already know, I’m Gwinnett Commission Chairman Charles Bannister. I have held elected office in this county for 34 years and every year I’ve served, I‘ve done so as a conservative Republican. During all of those years, I’ve voted only once for a tax increase- and that was for a tobacco tax. From the day I took office as commission chairman, I have stressed efficiency with my fellow commissioners and county staff.

I say all of this because the financial situation facing Gwinnett County at this time is the most difficult I have ever seen. When I proposed a property tax increase for Gwinnett County, I did so only because I did not believe the other options were in the best interest of Gwinnett’s citizens.

However, we have heard the message sent to us by the citizens and property owners of Gwinnett County and I plan to postpone the vote to set the millage rate. We will conduct our advertised millage public hearing next Tuesday at 10:30am, but it is my intention to table the millage vote scheduled to take place at 2:00pm on June 2.

Much of the concern we’ve heard from the public about the proposed millage increase was generated by misinformation spread about alleged county plans to take over city police departments and the alleged disproportionate taxation of city businesses and residents. None of this information is true. However, we also heard from our citizens about the genuine hardship this increase may cause for some of the citizens of Gwinnett County.

What we will do now is take another look at our current budget and future budgets to see where we can make additional cuts. These cuts will be as aggressive as possible and could impact some of our more protected interests, including financial policies that support our AAA bond rating.

I want to emphasize – our board has already been through this exercise. We have made significant cuts and we have also implemented significant increases to other revenues – all to the tune of $40 million or about 7.8% of our already lean general fund.

To find the additional money, we will have to take another hard look at our biggest operating expenses – courts, parks, libraries and personnel costs. Any additional cuts we make will have significant visible and tangible impacts on county services. Because of the serious consequences further cuts will bear, I am calling on all of our county leadership – civic and elected – to come together to help solve this crisis. Now is the time to put this community ahead of personality, politics, turf, and personal ambition.

I have no firm details at this time to share about additional cuts or how or when we’ll get all county leadership to the table. We are going back to work on our budget immediately and I will be in contact with the other leaders in the coming hours and days.
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1 comment:

Blog Masta said...

Charles Bannister Arrested For DUI!!!
Let me first start out by saying how glad I am this guy was finally busted for the LOSER he is. All of the questionable practices with real estate, property taxes, and the new trash plan have really been unacceptable. It is truly amazing this guy is driving around drunk in a county vehicle MY taxes pay for. Not to mention his salary! He claimed he was discussing real estate. His next big CON. Step one: Find nice parcel of real estate. Step 2: Buy nice parcel of real estate. Step 3: Over inflate the price and use hard working taxpayers money to purchase. Step 4: Collect your profit and set it aside for 100 ft yacht in Barbados. Charles Bannister is an absolute crook and has been profiting off of taxpayers since the day he stepped into his office. WAKE UP GWINNETT COUNTY!!! This is your commissioner! The drunk swerving around in Lilburn. Running YOU (THE TAXPAYERS) off the road! Endangering the lives of everyone on the road. This is an OUTRAGE! A slap to the face. GET INVOLVED! GET EDUCATED ON WHAT IS GOING ON!!! The exact same thing that is going on in Washington DC is going on in YOUR county. GWINNETT COUNTY! What if Bannister was so drunk he hit your child riding his/her bicycle on the sidewalk! This is the guy in charge of almost 2 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR! A DRUNK!! AN ABSOLUTE DRUNK! The police report said he could not even say the alphabet! This tyrant must be removed from this position. He commented he will give up his keys to his county vehicle until this is resolved. He will just hop in another vehicle and drive drunk! CALL HIS OFFICE! DEMAND ANSWERS AS TAXPAYERS!!! LET THEM KNOW THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR FOR SOMEONE IN THIS POSITION!!!!

********************CHARLES BANNISTER OFFICE - (770) 822-7010*******************

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