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October 30, 2014 Issue

Prayers for pets
Wrens lowers taxes
Polls open next week

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Prayers for pets

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Wadley United Methodist Church held its annual Blessing of the Animals Sunday, Oct. 26. Owners brought their animals one by one to Pastor Chris Shoemaker to be blessed. Pastor Shoemaker said a prayer for the pets and their host families. Among the animals present were several dogs and a hawk. Sandersville Veterinary Clinic was present providing rabies vaccinations for a suggested $5 donation. Proceeds will be for the provision of low-cost spay/neuter operations.


Wrens lowers taxes

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

Wrens City Council has reduced the city’s millage rate for the fourth time in the past five years.

The millage, which was 20.50 in 2009, has been reduced each year since and now stands at 14.937. This is down from last year’s rate of 16.50.


“In 2009, the city was in bad financial condition,” Wrens City Administrator Arty Thrift said.

“Since then, the city has tightened its belt. We run a leaner operation; and, we manage better,” he said.

“We had to make difficult decisions about layoffs, reductions in services, expense management, salary program and budget appropriations, etc.”

Thrift said the millage rate reduction is good for the city’s property owners.

“But it comes with challenges,” he added.

The reduction is about 2 mills with a mill being worth $38,654.75. Therefore a 2-mill reduction for the city means about $77,000 less in expected revenue.

Last year, taxes generated $696,780 for the city. That drops this year to $577,386. Records indicate that since 2008 about 3 percent of taxpayers are behind in city taxes. That comes to slightly less than $126,000.

The city uses a third-party collection agency to try to recover past due taxes. Collection efforts are made and, failing that, property may be sold by the city.

Wrens has a tax sale at the courthouse in Louisville scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 4.

An estimate of savings this year compared to last year’s tax is about $150 on a property valued at $100,000.

The city’s net tax digest last year was $42,229,072. This year, that figure has dropped to $38,654,755, a drop of almost 8.5 percent.

Polls open next week

By Carol McLeod

Jefferson County may no longer be a dry county if enough voters say yes to a referendum on the ballot this year.

Louisville is asking voters to decide whether to authorize the city to issue licenses to sell distilled spirits by the drink.


Jefferson County is asking voters to decide the same issue and to decide if the city will allow package sales of malt beverages and wine on Sunday between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Wadley had a similar issue on its ballot last year. That referendum passed and took effect in January.

Louisville will have two more alcohol referendums. One is to allow Sunday package sales of beer, wine and distilled spirits. The third allows Sunday sales by the drink of distilled spirits from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The proposed changes, if passed, are expected to increase revenue from the taxes levied on alcoholic beverages.

Besides these referendums, voters also face the issue of another SPLOST, or Special Projects Local Option Sales Tax.

This tax is for 1 cent on each dollar spent within the county and includes money spent inside any of the county’s city limits.

Each referendum will list the specifics of the purposes of the revenue generated from this tax. The revenue cannot be spent on anything not listed on the referendum.

On all ballots will be a choice for governor, lieutenant governor, United States senate, secretary of state, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of insurance, state school superintendent, commissioner of labor, two posts for public service commissioner, United States representative for district 10, state senator for district 23, a statewide referendum to allow some housing facilities to remain tax exempt and two proposed constitutional amendments.

One amendment is to prohibit an increase in the state income tax rate scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2015.

The other will add reckless driving penalties or fees that will be added to the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund.

The city of Louisville will have three referendums dealing with alcohol sales. Jefferson County has a SPLOST referendum and two referendums dealing with alcohol sales. There are also several votes that will not be on all county ballots.

Stapleton will have an election for seats on the city council.

Glascock County will have two referendums. One is for a county SPLOST. The other is an E-SPLOST for the county’s school system.

Early and advance voting in Georgia ends this week on Friday.

Registrar’s offices in Jefferson and Glascock counties will be open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day until Friday, Oct. 31. The offices will remain open through lunch.

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