COLUMBUS, Ga- New home owners in Muscogee County pay higher taxes. Long-time homeowners pay less taxes. However, a long-time homeowner who moves and buys a new home starts all over in the highest tax bracket. Is that fair? Should the taxes be based on market value instead? These questions are at the heart of the tax freeze issue.
Tuesday night, the Muscogee County Democratic Party hosted a forum to explore the pros and cons of thawing the tax freeze that’s been in place for more than 30 years.
News 3’s Mercer Van Schoor served as a moderator and asked what each side has at stake.
Mercer Van Schoor asked, “There’s been a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot effort put into this campaign. To both of you, what do you have to lose, if this does go through?”
“What will be losing is power over our taxes, and we will be an ATM for our local government. Any time they want some money, they just raise your taxes. And you’ll tax yourself out of your home,” answered community activist Nadine Moore, who spoke in favor of keeping the freeze.
“Columbus State University has done a study that shows us that had we thawed the freeze ten years ago, that we could collect the same amount of revenue we do now for the city and schools at seven mills less a year,” responded Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who spoke in favor of thawing the freeze.
Muscogee County voters will decide whether to thaw the tax freeze in November’s general election.