Once again the Macon area could see an influx people from coastal Georgia counties if they are forced from their homes by evacuation due to severe weather. Hotels are already running out of space for people who do not want to be here but have few options. The better off people will fill the high end hotels quickly or will pull out the RV and head for the campgrounds.
The not so well off will have to bite the bullet and pay up for the rooms left and also the hotel, motel tax which increased recently by five dollars a night for anyone staying less than 30 days.
This means the cities that impose this tax are taking advantage of those in distress as they already do with the homeless. The law only prohibits charging this fee to state employees on official business.
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I think it is time for our local officials not price gouge people who are not tourists but refugees of a situation not of their making. They will already be faced with paying the optional sales taxes. This is not my idea of being a good neighbor.
A religious congregation having affirmed its commitment to inclusiveness and as a consequence, having been mocked by Erick Erickson, might sense superfluous vindication therein.
A moment in time
W.P. “Bill” Thompson Jr., by any standard, was one of the most successful people who ever resided in the city of Macon. His architectural firm’s list of accomplishments would more than use up my allotted 250 words. I will focus on one, the former Omni Center in Atlanta where the 1988 Democratic Convention was held. He was a huge Democratic Party supporter and a business associate of former Democratic U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. They owned land among other places up and down Interstate 75.
I called Thompson at his Atlanta office in the “his” Omni building for an interview on the eve of the convention. Surprisingly, this democratic insider had not been in there before we walked through the entryway together. Despite my TV news reporter prodding for him to be boastful because this American tradition was in effect honoring his years of party support at this special building of his design, Bill remained the humble, gentleman I knew over the years. I was, however, definitely honored to be with William Penn Thompson Jr. at that moment in American history, which I shall never forget.
I read the article by Liz Fabian about the vandalism in the private cemetery Cedar Ridge. Glenda Smith, who lives in South Carolina, wants to know why some cemeteries are maintained by the city and private cemeteries are not. Does she pay taxes in Bibb County? I suggest she or some of the friends of these private cemeteries begin a trust fund and hire a maintenance crew.
Yes, the dead deserve respect, but the living deserve priority. Our tax dollars are funding police and fire, roads and education and other necessities of life. Because I live in a free country I can choose to donate to the Children’s Hospital, the public library, cancer research — or a local cemetery. Private cemeteries should be maintained by private donations. Perhaps some brave politician would like to address why our tax dollars are maintaining some of the cemeteries in Bibb.
At 64 years of age, I thought I had heard everything, however, on Aug. 15, I was at a public meeting on taxes at the Government Center when I heard the worse statement I’ve ever heard. At the full commission meeting I posed the question to the body, “What is more important, a splash pad or public safety?” I heard as a reply from Commission Al Tillman, “A splash pad.”
I was shocked. He has no idea what he was saying, but my shock didn’t end there. Joe Allen, a retired firefighter and Scotty Shepherd, a retired deputy sheriff, said nothing and didn’t take offense to Tillman’s statement.
The people of Macon-Bibb County need to realize what type of people they have running our government.
The tax situation in this town is getting out of hand. We still pay school tax when we are 75-years old. We give them all the SPLOST money they ask for and they want more.
I live in a home I’ve owned for nearly 40 years, but I still pay the county about $300 a month to live here. I might as well be renting. Then I pay the taxes on my two cars and my water bill which is doubled by the sewer tax. Now I’ve got to mail my garbage annually when the lawyer next door gets it picked up cheaper by a private service.
In short, our county leaders have finally got a pot of gold and enough is not enough.
Nothing has changed
I could not, in good conscience, vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald trump. I cast my ballot for the Libertarian, whose name I don’t recall and who thought Aleppo, a war-ravaged city in Syria, was the acronym for a government agency with which he was not familiar. My vote was my way of taking a stand against both major parties’ candidates. It was better and easier than protesting in the streets, rioting, destroying others’ property, blocking traffic or acting like an anarchist.
The president and his band of merry men and women have not drained the swamp. They have added more muck and mire to it. Republicans control Congress and the White House and are doing next to nothing. Democrats, as expected, are opposed to anything Republicans propose. It’s the American way. Nothing has changed. It’s politics as usual.