House Bill 370, now in the General Assembly, would undermine the longstanding requirement for private landowners to prove they possess a “King’s Grant” to get advantages of owning marshland easements in Georgia.
But HB370 outrageously shifts this burden-of-proof onto the state. If passed and signed into law, the bill would award conservation easements to private owners of adjacent uplands making claims to King’s Grants when state officials cannot disprove them within six months.
Once granted by default under HB370, these unproven claims could then be used by manipulative applicants to dodge taxes through tax-credits for marshlands conservation easements, for which there’s no proof that they are entitled.
HB370 is a brazen, unjustified entitlement-heist by unscrupulous marshfront property owners seeking unsubstantiated tax credits, coercing the public to make up the difference.
Voters are urged to contact members of the General Assembly House and Senate - particularly the House Rules committee - to stop this outrageous, unwarranted claim on treasured marshlands that belong to the people of Georgia.
Unfortunately, HB370 seems part of a disturbing pattern of subversive proposals seeking to empower special interests by privatizing activities now subject to public authority and laws governing property, taxes/ finance, voting, and/or civil rights. Thus, another threat to the Georgia public is Senate Bill 435 proposing “Private Cities” – essentially elite enclaves escaping public scrutiny provided by open-record transparency that safeguards accountability. Voting power in these districts would be proportional to land ownership.
Beware of self-serving bills threatening Georgians’ shared interests as citizens, taxpayers, and voters.
David Kyler, St. Simons, Georgia Center for a Sustainable Coast