In reading the article "Message to Citizens from Commissioners" in Sunday's, July 15, 2007, Letters to the Editor in the Statesboro Herald, I understand that property taxpayers must bear the major cost of all these services for the population of Bulloch County. It seems to be punishment to the property owners because as I see it, non-property owners reap the benefits, too, and they have very little part in helping to pay for the escalating costs of all these growing services that help maintain the quality of life we are now enjoying.
Ultimately something needs to be done to relieve property owners who pay for most of these services offered to everybody. Its true citizens demand that the county provide all these services listed in the commissioners' article — road maintenance, elections emergency services (animal control, ambulance-rescue, 911) solid waste services, parks and recreation, an airport, local library, safety, etc. However, these services cost money which will be a tax burden on the property owner — the sales tax helps, but from where does most of this money come?
What is going to happen to those who are now on "fixed incomes" and have property that keeps being reevaluated so taxes can be increased? If a person on a "fixed income" gets a cost of living raise, IRS and health insurance step in and get practically all of the little bit given. Yes, the commissioners' article listed all those services we enjoy. Now, let me list for you what comes out of a "fixed income" — income tax, state tax, property tax, sales tax, school tax, gasoline tax, utilities, insurance (house, automobile, Medicare), tags for vehicles, groceries, clothes, medicines and doctor bills which are astronomical. Many worked hard to acquire property or were left it by family. It is sad that some may have to sell their property to pay taxes because their "fixed incomes" do not increase to meet the demands of the taxes levied on them. What a shame to have to sell and move to where-----? Does anyone care? Is property tax then, a fair tax?
Now, some enjoying this type of life in the county have no clue as to who makes it possible for them to have all these services. Taxpayers have come to expect much from the county and so do those who have little in helping to pay for what we all enjoy. It's true sales tax was increased because of a "yes" vote hoping to give the property owners a break, but did it?
How and when will those on "fixed incomes" get some relief here in Bulloch County? There are counties and states that give some exemptions after one reaches a certain age and are on "fixed incomes". Remember, "fixed incomes" do not increase to meet the demands on which property taxes are levied. Who on the board of commissioners cares?