Now that the genie is out of the bottle, the 09, 010 and 011 county budgets will fall well short of need and ol Pete will again be the deciding vote and raise your taxes again, and again. You will hear all about how bad the economy is, how sales tax revenue continues to come in under projections. Expect some sophomoric comment like, "We didn't want to do this, but we have no choice."
Wrong, wrong, and wrong. The commission has the option to institute impact fees on new construction. Fees that would be paid by people who are moving to Chatham from somewhere else. Considering who is supporting Pete, builders and developers, there is zero chance to avoid a tax increase to existing citizens because Pete will not bite the hand that feeds him and keeps him in power. No it's not the voters, it's the kingmakers who want to avoid better public policy like impact fees on new construction. Without impact fees, the builder gets to sell his or her product at market price while everywhere all around Chatham County new construction sells with impact fees as part of the sales price. Can you say, "cha-ching."
Impact fees will generate between 30-35 million dollars a year, all paid by those who want to take up residence in Chatham County. Why that's enough to actually reduce our millage rate and give everyone a nice size tax reduction. Why haven't we done this sooner? Ask the chairman.