Tuesday, August 28, 2007

08/24 - Thanks for coverage on Jeff Chapman's efforts

Date August 24, 2007
Section(s) Letters
The Brunswick News

Thank you for running Sen. Jeff Chapman's remarks about what is happening on Jekyll Island.

It is appreciated to read news about the environment being protected by our elected officials in the newspaper.

Jekyll is a special place that was in 1950 created by the state for the benefit of average Georgians. The Jekyll Island Authority members seem to have lost sight of this when they approved a developer who would create a large facility with a $250 nightly rental.

The authority, to my knowledge, never refuted the published remarks "rent rebate" and "sweetheart deal." Affordability is a very real issue on Jekyll.

Hopefully on Aug. 30 the Senate-House Oversight Committee will reconsider the approval of this developer's proposal for the rebuilding of the Buccaneer with rates most Georgians will not be able to afford.

Thank you again for publishing all the news. The coastal area is very fragil and needs protectors who will step up and speak about preserving the environment.

Connie and William Brillhart
St. Simons Island

What are the real motives here, Mr. Keen?

In an article on the front page of the Aug. 20 edition of The Brunswick News, state Rep. Jerry Keen reported that Republicans will allay our concerns about new development by abolishing property taxes.

The article states that the elimination of school, county and city property taxes would be like throwing cold water on developments that require controversial actions by government.

Mr. Keen adds, "If there is no money, they will take a second look."

How will this stop development? It would seem to me that it would encourage more development.

Later in the article, Mr. Keen explains that government services such as schools, police, firemen, etc., would be paid for by state sales tax.

This could necessitate adding sales tax to purchases of medicine and groceries and even on services rendered such as doctor services.

What Keen failed to say is how much these state sales taxes would have to be increased to pay for these services. There have been suggestions that the state sales tax would need to be increased to 23 percent.

All the sales tax would go to Atlanta, then some come back to the county. I am not sure 23 percent would be enough.

Another paragraph in The News article states that the amount of sales tax that each county would receive would hinge on population. In other words, it would require adding more people to the county to get a larger piece of the pie. How will this control over development?

This sounds like another scheme to reduce taxes for the wealthy and dump them on those people who are struggling to pay for medicine and food. Sounds like snake oil to me.

Goodness knows, I don't enjoy paying property taxes any more than the next person, but we all want police protection, fire protection and decent public schools for the children.

There's also the costs of infrastructure and water-sewer systems. This has to be paid for with taxes.

Another item in the article says Mr. Keen will introduce legislation to expand Scarlett-Williams. Why would this be necessary if he is doing away with property taxes?

Reba Stone
St. Simons Island