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Your Views: Officials turn fees we pay into new taxes
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I read with interest the article relating to Flowery Branch beautifying downtown that stated "bids came in under the grant amount, so the city scrambled to find other ways to use as much of the money as possible."

If I understand this correctly, our local administrations have no concern for saving money, just spending all that they can get and then asking for more.

The article stated that was using a Transportation Enhancement grant to complete the project, but required a $50,000 match. This is in addition to a $50,000 grant for other landscaping activities.

It was stated that funding for the grants came from fees paid to the Georgia Department of Transportation for vegetation removal at signs, according to the DOT. In this case, the fees look like a tax to me. If the funds are not going to be used for the intended purpose (vegetation removal at signs) then should not the fees (tax) be reduced?

No! This just seems to be another example where public administrations at all levels continue to take as much in taxes from the individual and corporate taxpayers as they can get and make every effort to use it all so that they can ask for more.

I am wondering if this same wasteful attitude would be taken throughout the system if we were foolish enough to approve the SPLOST referendum later this year?

Without a doubt, the beautifying of downtown is an expensive, but worthwhile cause and will provide Flowery Branch with improved appearance. However, I wonder if any thought has been given to the extensive maintenance and care expenses that all the landscaping will require throughout the year.

Can this be funded from operations, or will we be looking for another "free tax" grant in these difficult times?

Bill Beaty
Flowery Branch

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