Welcome to the Newsletter of Alana Sanders, District 3 Commissioner. "It is important to stay informed about the work being done by our elected officials and Newton County."
Fall Regional Policy Meeting
Greetings Esteemed Newton County Residents, Officials, and Directors, I trust this message finds you well. I am writing to share crucial insights gained from my recent participation in the Fall Regional Meeting with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG). This gathering served as a platform to discuss forthcoming legislative proposals on behalf of our counties. To keep you informed, I've compiled a summary of key points and issues discussed at the meeting. ACCG 2024 Legislative Toolkit: I encourage you to explore the ACCG 2024 Legislative Toolkit [here], which provides a comprehensive overview of the initiatives slated for presentation to the General Assembly. The Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) will focus its lobbying efforts on supporting counties in several key areas, which I will highlight. These include property taxes, EMS Medicaid reimbursement, Medicaid for pretrial inmates, the 911 certificate, and mental health. Summary of Meeting Highlights: 1. 3-Year Tax Lock Issue:
Commercial and investment-owned properties are utilizing the 3-year tax lock.
The Board of Equalization should inquire about the property's use, especially in the context of rentals.
Notably, two statewide companies,
Tricon Investments and American Owners to Rent, are leveraging this process.
Rationale: Is to provide a fair a predictable tax system for the benefit of our residents 2. ACCG's Advocacy on Property Taxes:
ACCG is advocating to lock in property tax rates at the time of house purchase.
Additionally, there is a proposal for a 3% annual increase in property taxes.
Rationale: Ensuring a fair and predictable property tax system for the benefit of our residents. 3. Georgia Department of Revenue Sales Ratio Study or Warning:
The Sales Ratio Study is a crucial evaluation of assessment performance based on sales data.
Some counties have received warnings, and it's essential to know that these warnings can be appealed.
Refer to the Property Tax Administration Annual Report for further insights.
Proposing Medicaid coverage for pre-trial inmates to alleviate the financial burden on counties.
Urging the General Assembly to increase funding through Medicaid reimbursements for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), as there has been no increase since 2002.
Rationale: Alleviating the financial burden on counties and ensuring adequate support for essential healthcare services. 5. 911 Certificate:
ACCG strongly discourages counties from relinquishing their right to the 911 Certificate.
Counties that have done so in the past, albeit smaller than Newton, experienced significant safety concerns. Some have since regained control.
Rationale: Safeguarding the safety of residents by maintaining control over emergency response systems. 6. Elections: (Does not pertain to Newton County we have a BOE)
Exploring the separation of duties for probate judges and Election Board Supervisors, with a proposal to relieve judges of election-related responsibilities.
Rationale: Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of election processes within the county. 7. Mental Health: As of November 6, 2023, nearly 70 counties have already embraced the Mental Health resolution. Is there a specific reason why our board has not taken a stance to support our residents with mental illness and to endorse ACCG's efforts in advocating for state assistance in this crucial area? Rationale: Prioritizing the mental well-being of our community members and addressing the evolving challenges of mental health These issues directly impact Newton County, and your awareness and engagement are crucial. I encourage you to review the provided toolkit and relevant documents for a deeper understanding. Thank you for your dedication to our community, and I look forward to working collaboratively to address these matters. Best regards, "Commish" Commissioner Alana Sanders