Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mayor Pro Tem Denis Shortal explains the Dunwoody Budget


damcrae1 said...

We have heard numerous times that there will be no increase in property taxes over what residents have previously paid DeKalb County.

I am 67 and received a senior citizens tax rate via application to the County when I turned 65. Can we be assured that exemption provisions previously approved by DeKalb County will be valid with the City of Dunwoody and that we will see no increase in our 2009 taxes over what was paid the County in 2008?

Thanks for all you do!!!

Dudley McRae
2093 Stephens Walk

DunwoodyParent said...

No offense Dudley but why should seniors pay less? Seniors receive the same (if not more) services as do non-seniors. What's next, a discount-rate for the poor? A discount-rate for police officers? I think the seniors should pay the same as everyone else.

Anonymous said...

DunwoodyParent - there is a moving van with your name on it somewhere. Heck, I'll even chip in a few dollars to help you rent it.

Thaddeus Osbourne Dabell said...

Sorry Dudley, your power bill went up with the city.

DunwoodyParent said...

Dunwoody Mom, Please tell me why seniors should pay less than me?

The 'senior discount' thing started in Florida, with restaurants trying to attract patrons for early bird dinners; simply a marketing ploy by the private sector. Supermarkets do the same thing. I have no problem with discounts for any group, for private sector goods. But discounting taxes for a particular group is a slippery slope.

When giving me a good answer to my question above please don't tell me they are on a fixed income. Seniors have had many more years than me to save money. And retiring from the work force before death is not an excuse either. I look forward to your answer.

Also, I have no intention on moving.

Ellen Fix said...

I'm not an expert on taxes but aren't SCHOOL taxes collected through your property tax bill? I think the assumption may be that because seniors no longer have kids in the school system, the government gives them a break on their prop. tax.

Thaddeus Osbourne Dabell said...

The private sector seniors' discount is certainly a marketing tactic. The various government tax breaks for the elderly seem to be intended to improve the chances that long-time residents can remain in their homes in the face of inflationary pressures and a fixed income. For example, our house was bought 30 years ago for $89K, and while we have some control over most bills (water is under $5/month, gas is a sweater away from $50/month, etc.), we have little control over taxes and let's be honest, they've gone up quite a bit in 30 years. And they're going up higher and faster because of the city (as is my power bill--little tax here, little tax there).

Schools are another thing entirely and while the property tax bill includes the school taxes, schools are for all intents and purposes a completely separate government with its own taxing authority, budget and elections. Some believe the elderly should be exempt from that tax because their children, if any, have long left the system. Some disagree.

All in all, it is bad policy to cater to us old farts and we should accept the harsh reality that we may no longer be able to afford to live here. Even the Spruill children had to sell the farm to pay the taxes. And quite frankly there are many better places to retire than Dunwoody.