Thursday, July 28, 2016

Which Dunwoody... you live in?

Do you live in Millennialopolis? You know over by construction junction where Greedy Developers are building apartments to handle the Millennial Invasion? Those would be the ten percenters as the remaining Millennials are unemployed and living with relatives or so under employed they cannot afford high-rise living.

Walkerton? Are you going to move there? That's right, across from the butt-side of a dingy Post Office where equally Greedy Developers have abandoned the impoverished Millennials in favour of the more well-endowed Olde Farts.

Or are you in Normanville? That Rockwellian dreamscape where all kids are into sports, especially baseball in which they all excel. The one where the anti-thespians have beaten down opposition to another field of dreams that is inconveniently situated beneath a theatre.

You might expect to find out what kind of Dunwoody you now live in,or could hope to live in someday soon by checking in at City Hall. You'd be wrong because they haven't a clue.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It Is BROOKrun...

...not BROOKSrun!

The haters who've been laying the hatin' on local thespians seem to think the place was named after Tyrone Brooks mistaking it for another case of deepest darkest DeKalb shoving a famous black politician in their faces. Perhaps some of the pissy little megaphone mouths are upset thinking it is named after someone who shamelessly misappropriated funds. Even then it would still be about black except in this case it would involve a pot and a kettle. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fait Accompli

Fran's Tax Freeze is under assault from a peculiar foe--he and his comrades under the Gold Dome misspoke when crafting a Tax Increase for all of DeKalb. They wanted to increase sales tax for all manner of things, including a whimsical county center parked between the jail and the mulch piles but also added language that real lawyers have determined will remove Fran's Tax Freeze. This was an act either of stupidity or incompetence, or both, and is pretty much what we expect from same-ole-same-ole politics in Georgia.

What is interesting are quoted statements from a county commish:
"At this point, even if the project list was[sic] perfect, bringing this SPLOST forward for a vote in November is irresponsible. To go forward would mean a devastating tax increase on 10 years of property value growth that has been shielded."
There is so much to mine from this shaft. The ten years applies only to those properties that have not been maintained or improved such that pulling a permit was required (and done). Yes, we're going to call a roof replacement maintenance even when the owner upgrades to those trendy architectural shingles.  Or perhaps pushing a growing portion of property valuation off the books (shielding??) was ill conceived in the first place.

What is really interesting is the implication that if a tax referendum is on the ballot it will pass. Perhaps it will. And here's one to roll around in yer noggin: maybe this is what the citizens want. Or maybe not. Maybe, just maybe, those who vote on this referendum will be informed voters making an informed decision.

Or maybe the politicos under the Gold Dome and down in Decatur were confident they could craft ballot propaganda all but guaranteeing a new tax but are pretty sure it goes down in flames if passage kills a sweetheart deal with homeowners who tend to turn out at the polls.

No matter. They'll have to wait until next year to push the new tax thru.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Elementary, My Dear Lewis

In a phone conversation that never occurred John Lewis reportedly said:
My heart was saddened upon learning of remaining pockets of racism near my home in Georgia recently exposed with the naming of local schools. This came about when members of the school board found their moral compass did not direct them down the path of arbitrary and unjust rules. Their simple act of civil disobedience has shown a bright light into dark corners of the hearts harboring hate and racism. These modern day marchers have once again demonstrated that our cause, ever worthy, is never finished. I am heartened to see this cause, started so many decades ago, has gained new momentum in their courageous actions in DeKalb County. 
Unaware that he'd not ended the call (damn those smart phones) he was not overheard saying:
Where the hell is Brookhaven? Should we send Sharpton down there for one of his "Marchin' For Dollars" rallies? Check his calendar and figure out how much he'll get. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Patriotism vs Nationalism

Patriotism is when you fervently believe your country is the best country on the planet because it is where you were born and where you live. Nationalism is when it is the other bloke and another country. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Uber ID

Across the country city leaders are being pressured by Cab companies to require fingerprint background checks for Uber drivers, especially for pickups at airports. Airports have become the battleground because it is a lucrative concentration of customers and it also services customers from afar where pissing contests between new-age and stone-age business have been settled. In favour of new-age.

Publicly the stone-age argument is about a level playing field. The hidden argument allies the Cabbies and the Politicians and, no surprise here, is about money starting with medallion fees. Political fundraising is significantly easier when hitting up a few big donors, cab companies and unions, than it would be going after an ever-changing bunch of Uber drivers.

Big money almost always keeps operations in business long after their use-by date so it is quite possible the stone-agers will win. But suppose Uber extracts a compromise--that a Georgia Weapons Carry License, which requires fingerprinting and an FBI background check, satisfies the requirement. After all, don't the anti-Constitution Nutsies always try to equate gun rights with driving "rights?" Maybe that should be a two-way street.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Melting Fran's Tax Freeze

Fran Millar has successfully and on multiple occasions pushed thru a property assessment freeze. It kinda works like this: your home's assessment cannot be raised whilst the freeze is effect unless it is sold or renovated. The freeze has a limited term but has been extended for five more years.

When you sell your house, mark-to-market is relatively painless. First, you always knew the market value was significantly higher than assessed value. Furthermore, you're not going to pay the higher taxes on the new assessment--the buyer is.

Where it gets fun is the "renovation" escape clause. How does anyone know you've done a renovation? Well if you do it yourself, it may just be your secret, but if you use licensed pros they will pull a permit. At that point you are up for re-assessment. And it won't be the $5,000 you spent on maintenance--say replacing those 1970's windows with new energy-efficient vinyl or putting on a new roof--you will get a mark-to-market assessment.

Now ask yourself: since this City started operation are there less or more things requiring permits? Do you really believe it's because they want to make sure your roofer installs a drip edge?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Tax Increase Gets Unanimous Support

At least there is unanimous support from the Mayor and Council who get to play around with the extra money. There was some political posturing suggesting some on Council are still uncomfortable in the role of bending you over the barrel, perhaps remembering when DeKalb did it to them. The usual excuses were trotted out:
  • Let's not talk about the Tax Increase, let's talk about the millage rate
  • The millage rate is the same as when we started the City
  • Look at the Consumer Price Index over the last few years
  • You spend more on your swim and tennis membership than City Taxes
  • If we did drop the rate you wouldn't save enough to even notice
  • Look at your bill--County and Schools are much larger--you should bitch at them first
Doesn't all this sound familiar?