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The Local Agenda: Energy tax exemption worries cities
Without opt-out, local governments would need alternate revenue source
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Gainesville City Council expressed concerns about Gov. Nathan Deal's proposed energy sales tax cut exemption in a work session earlier this month.

A proposed exemption could exclude agricultural, mining and manufacturing industries from sales taxes on energy consumption. The proposal was touted by Deal and other state Republican leaders as a way to make Georgia more competitive in growing manufacturing jobs.

However, the tax cut could affect local government budgets as well. A large portion of the city's tax base comes from those industries, said City Manager Kip Padgett.

Gainesville City Councilwoman Ruth Bruner said the city may not be able to opt out if the proposed exemption passes.

Bruner said if the tax cut were implemented, the city would have to look for alternative sources of revenue.

Hall County government closed on Feb. 20

Hall County offices, courts, community centers and libraries will be closed on Monday as an employee furlough day.

The day off without pay for county employees is one of 12 furlough days scheduled for the current fiscal year as a way to cut costs.

The President's Day furlough will not affect the early voting that's under way for the presidential primary. All polling places will be open with normal operating hours.

Public safety and public works crews will remain on duty, as well. County landfill and compactor sites will remain open.

Some county services including vehicle tag renewal and tax payment are still available online at www.hall

Hall County Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee said elections staff will take a day without pay at another time this year.

Property tax return deadline approaching

The deadline for Hall County property owners to file a property tax return with the Tax Assessors office is April 1. Property owners are not required to file a return.

However, returns are filed for those who wish to have their appraisals reviewed, who need to report additions or deletions of buildings on property, who need to report new acquisitions of personal property (such as business equipment or boats) or who want to make sure existing property was depreciated properly.

Real and Personal Property forms can be found on the Tax Assessors office Web page at under Forms and Applications. Call the Tax Assessors office at 770-531-6720. The Board of Assessors is currently in the process of reappraising all property in Hall County. About half of all property was reviewed in 2011, and the rest will be reviewed in 2012.

County to consider ID badges for employees
Hall County residents may soon have an easier way of identifying county employees.

At last week's Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting, Commissioner Scott Gibbs requested requiring ID badges for all employees.

Gibbs said it's particularly important for county employees who go into homes and businesses to be easily identifiable.

Recently the Hall County Tax Assessors office implemented ID badges. The department's identification cards were produced by the Hall County Sheriff's Office, said Chief Appraiser Steve Watson, costing about $4 per badge.

Aaron Hale covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:


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