Many officials at the local level – and not just in Bryan County – are opposed to Georgia Rep. Glenn Richardson's proposal to do away with property taxes. And in a sense it's understandable, since Richardson's plan as it currently exists would end local government's ability to control the purse strings.
That's a valid concern, as are fears that Richardson's plan would put too much power in the hands of state government.
But with that said, finding a way to eliminate (or at least seriously reduce) property taxes is a worthwhile goal. And if there's a good point in Richardson's plan, it might well be that without the power to tax property owners, city and county leaders would be forced to make some hard choices and exercise financial constraint rather than simply adjust the millage rate to make up projected shortfalls.
That's why we believe that while Richardson's plan might not be the right one, he's on the right track. So rather than demonize his efforts, local government leaders from here to Atlanta and beyond should be finding ways to reduce the tax burden for all property owners.
The Bryan County News
Sept. 27, 2007