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Beware, taxpayers -- bills are due
Letter to the editor

Editor, Supposedly, taxes are going up again because SPLOST was voted down. Don’t you know that taxes are raised whether or not SPLOST is approved? Taxes also will be raised no matter how many concerned citizens attend the three public hearings on the proposed millage-rate hikes.
The county commission, city, hospital authority and development authority collectively do not care. Let me say it again — they do not care if you attend or what anyone in attendance has to say. Attendance and comments are an exercise in futility. Our elected representatives, making themselves our modern day taskmasters, already have made up their minds about what they’re going to do. These aforementioned entities exist only to “stroke the dog’s fur backward.” They’re looking to make their lives lazier and become less beholden to the citizens who hired them to do our — yes, “our” — bidding.
It’s long past time for the citizen voters and taxpayers to put their collective foot down and say, “No more.” The hair has to go with the hide. There’s no more money in our treasury. In my opinion, Mayor Jim Thomas, City Manager Billy Edwards, Chief Financial Officer Kim Ryon, the elected judges, the county commissioners, the city-council members, the clerks and agency managers should be held accountable to the citizen taxpayers and be required to explain themselves.
These people have ordained themselves to go forth, taxing and spending as they please. Hinesville, and Liberty County are broke. We are corporately teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. The bill collector will be knocking soon.
Here are a few reasons why your tax bill is going up:
• “We the people” were forced, against our collective will, to pay for the salary increases of the school superintendant and other agency heads who make in excess of $200,000 a year.
• “We the people” were forced to purchase a bus service, against our collective will, that makes no money whatsoever because it carries no passengers. I’ve seen those buses, and so have you. We are forced to pay drivers and mechanics to maintain the money-losing buses and foot the bill for a facility to house them, and a staff. We are spending money in order to lose more money!
• “We the people” have been forced to pay for several new, multimillion dollar government palaces and shrines. Looking around, you’ll find these behemoths on just about ever “gold-paved” street in the city. They all have marble halls, statues, flat-screen TVs, stereo receivers, plaques, engravings, tapestries, oriental rugs, artwork, floral arrangements, gymnasium equipment and elevators.  
Beware, the bill is coming due very soon, and the fat lady is practicing “do-re-mi.”

— Johnny Howard

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