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Liberty taxpayer: We need a change
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Editor, We own a house in Arlington Park in Hinesville. When I ask people how much their taxes are, I am told anywhere from $900 to $1,500 a year. That’s high.
The past few years, the tax office has been raising the structural values in our neighborhood by thousands per house. Now the tax office is raising the value of the land to superficial values. This will be happening in your neighborhood soon, if not already.       
When I tell people what we pay for taxes for one house, others are astounded and I say, “Yes, we are too.”
The house I am speaking of is just a typical heated and cooled 2,009 square feet house, with a double garage and a 100x130 lot. In the back section of our lot, the surveyor's pins on each corner are in the center of an eight-foot ditch, about 20 feet wide. This means we cannot use the back 1,300 square feet of this lot, so now we are looking at a lot that is 100x120 feet — 1,200 square feet, and that's not very large.
You may be astounded that the tax office thinks all of the lots in Arlington Park are valued the same but all of the lots don’t have the same shape. Some lots are larger, but I don’t think there are any smaller than ours.
There are 110 lots in Arlington Park and they are all valued at $35,000 each. The only other area I am aware of with this kind of pricing is Barrington subdivision. The country club lots are not priced as high. If there are any residential lots priced like this please let me know.
This is the breakdown of what we have to pay:
• School taxes, $905.71
• Hinesville city taxes, $617.02
• Hospital taxes, $108.52
• State taxes, $14.15
• Liberty County taxes, $718
• Industrial authority taxes, $113.21
• Trash transfer fee, $35.88
The total is $2,512.49 per year for this one property and this does not include other fees to pay in Liberty County.
The other fees we have to pay per year, include:
• Stormwater fee, $86.76
• Trash collection, $135
• Garbage disposal, $21
• Dry trash, $66
This is a total of $308.76 of fees we have to pay, not including the city taxes. Total fees and all the other taxes per month come to $235.10 per month to live in Liberty County. This equals $2,821.25 per year. This doesn’t include vehicle taxes, and I’m sure there are tax fees I have not mentioned.

Information online
To find out what land and houses are valued at, or taxes that have or have not been paid, visit the Liberty County Web site;
On the tree on the left side of your computer screen, click on county departments, then click on tax commissioner of Liberty County, then scroll down to pay your taxes online toward the bottom of the screen and click on that. Then click on real property and fill in the blanks. You don’t have to have all of the information — a name or street address — and you can see anything is possible with the pricing of land and houses here in Liberty County.
This information is a matter of public record for anyone to see. It’s just online now and you don't have to go to the courthouse to see this any longer. This is great. Thanks Virgil Jones for this site. Job well done.
Our taxes need to be lowered throughout Hinesville and Liberty County. We may need new elected officials who will have the citizens’ and all municipalities' best interests in mind.
We need to phase in building projects and not do them all at one time. These new structures will have to be maintained.
Elected officials please be good stewards of our tax dollars. This is what you were put in office to do.   
Newcomers to Liberty County, this is why it costs so much to live in Liberty County. Now you see why rent is so high. We need a change here. It will be up to the people of Liberty County to make these changes when we elect our officials to office.
Get out and vote. Talk to your candidate. Call them and ask them to come by your house. If they want your vote, they will come by to see you. I am tired of lip service from the elected officials. We need a change.
Thank you for the opportunity to voice my opinion: a need for change.   

Ricky Parks
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