On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners will be voting on a 17% property tax rate increase. In 2013, The Georgia General Assembly approved House Bill 604, sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, which prohibited the Fulton County Commission from enacting a tax increase in 2014. Contrary to law, the Fulton County Commission has taken preliminary action to move forward to increase property taxes.
Fulton County citizens must call Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves immediately and request that he vote NO on a proposed 17% property tax rate increase before the Commission votes on Wednesday, June 18th. Chairman Eaves may be reached at 404-612-8206 or by email to John.Eaves@FultonCountyGA.gov.
Let’s rally the taxpayers of Fulton County to demand that the Fulton County Commission rejects a property tax increase in 2014!
River Trail Middle School Student - GA Winner for Doodle 4 Google Competition
Public Can Now Vote for National Finalists
A talented student in Johns Creek, GA could soon have her art on the Google homepage for hundreds of millions to see. Today, Google announced the 50 state winners in its seventh annual Doodle 4 Google competition, a contest open to K-12 students across the United States to redesign the Google logo inspired by the theme “If I could invent one thing to make the world a better place...”
Christine Anna Jeong, a 6th grader from River Trail Middle School in Johns Creek, Georgia, is one of the state winners with her doodle, “The Galactic Express”, which allows people to explore the world and will help scientists to solve the biggest mysteries of outer space. Christine’s doodle was selected from the tens of thousands of entries received this year and the students’ amazing ideas ranged from water purification to advanced robotics and nutrition solutions.
To help their favorites succeed, everyone across the USA can vote for their favorite doodle from the 50 state winners. Voting will be open from April 29 to May 9 on this site: http://www.google.com/doodle4google/vote.html, and the public vote will determine the five national finalists (one in each grade group).
Advanced voting for the May 20, 2014 General Primary and Special Elections will be held at half a dozen locations in North Fulton County, beginning April 28 through May 16. Please check below for specific dates and times as they vary by location.
Early Voting Locations - starting April 28th
April 28-May 10, 8AM-6PM
May 12-16, 7AM-7PM
- Johns Creek Environmental Campus - 8100 Holcomb Bridge Roadds, Alpharetta
- North Fulton Annex - 7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs
Expanded Early Voting Locations - starting May 5th
May 5-10, 8AM-6PM
May 12-16, 7AM-7PM
- Ocee Library - 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road, Johns Creek
- Northeast/Spruill Oaks Library - 3000 Old Alabama Rd., Alpharetta
- Roswell Branch Library - 115 Norcross St., Roswell
- Milton Center - 125 Milton Ave., Alpharetta
- Sandy Springs Library - 395 Mount Vernon Hwy., NE, Sandy Springs
Article from NorthFulton.com
Riley said she recently attended the Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition launch event where she supported the group's call for federal lawmakers to take action on just three areas: tax and immigration reform and expanded trade.
The Main Street Growth and Opportunity Coalition, which has launched a Georgia chapter, is an alliance of businesses, local trade associations and concerned individuals. They say they are committed to supporting "a common sense, pro-growth agenda for America."
It is an agenda Riley can support.
The Main Street Coalition does not offer specific solutions. It is more about "broadening a conversation" to find real solutions.
"This coalition is not really driving to identify specifics. It is more about saying enough with the over regulations, enough with the red tape and roadblocks," she said.
Riley is a small businesswoman herself who owns her own accounting firm. Government has become a stumbling block to productivity in her own field. The tax code is unwieldy, inefficient and has too many loopholes for special interest groups.
Immigration reform has been a big "hot button" issue in Washington, so much so it rarely tackles it. And when it does come up inside the Beltway, it doesn't get far.
Riley said she would like to see ways for government to be "more welcoming to immigration opportunities."
It should not be so difficult for people to navigate the immigration process or be so combative for people who are already here and worried about their status, Riley said.
"We want to be welcoming in allowing economic opportunity as well as immigration that might jumpstart new businesses," she said.
"Employers also find roadblocks from government in trying to utilize their talents," she said.
"We want Washington to employ more common sense and allow the little guy to be more productive in his daily work and not burdened by tax policies and compliance issues that [hinder the economy]," she said.
As the voices of grassroots groups grow, Riley says she thinks Washington will have to listen.
"What we need is more open conversation and sharing of ideas. No single person or party has all the solutions," Riley said.
This new coalition is the effort to begin that conversation, she said.
- Tax Reform that fixes an overly complex tax code will promote fairness and stimulate growth.
- Expanding trade opportunities for American businesses to drive growth. When U.S. businesses have access to new markets, they ramp up production and create jobs.
- Immigration reform that is balanced and sensible to help grow the economy and strengthening the nation's finances and programs over the long term.
By State Representative Lynne Riley
And one of the most anti-growth policies on the books is the current U.S, tax code, which is a drag on competitiveness and growth. The last rewrite of the nation’s tax code took place nearly thirty years ago, in 1986 – long before the foundations of the modern economy – the internet, personal computing, smart phone technology – were in place.
The House tax-writing committee deserves credit for recently putting forward a serious tax reform proposal. This proposal is an important first step toward propelling our tax code into the 21st Century and spurring economic growth by making the tax code simpler, fairer and flatter.
An analysis by the non-partisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation found that, if enacted, the proposal would add an estimated $3.4 trillion to GDP in the first ten years, while creating an estimated 1.8 million new jobs.
No one expects the latest proposal to sail through Congress without debate and discussion. But what we should all demand of our federal representatives is that the first serious tax reform proposal in a generation receive a fair hearing.
Lawmakers must shelve their partisanship and turn their focus to enacting growth policies we can all agree on -- or else Americans are fated to endure an economic recovery as despairing as the recession that preceded it.
Representative Lynne Riley began her second term in office as the House District 50 (Johns Creek) Representative in the Georgia General Assembly on January 14, 2013. Riley has been a professional accountant and Principal of Riley Accounting Services for over 30 years.
House Bill 744, the Fiscal Year 2015 budget effective for state spending beginning July 1, 2014, is set by a revenue estimate of $20.8 billion. This reflects an increase of $916 million, or 4.6%, over the original Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
Of all new revenue for FY 2015, 72% is budgeted to cover needs in K-12 and higher education, which net $660.7 million in new funds. Health and Human Services agencies received the next largest increase in new revenue - $203 million or 22% - largely to meet Medicaid and Peachcare needs and Department of Justice settlement requirements.
The House was able to fund a number of its priorities in the FY 2015 budget including enhanced funding for K-12 education; salary adjustments for critical positions in state agencies; and provider rate adjustments in various agencies.
Highlights are included in the following document:
Georgia Business and Community Leaders Urge Action by Federal Lawmakers on Tax and Immigration Reform, Expanded Trade to Create Growth
Atlanta, GA, March 19, 2014 — The Main Street Growth & Opportunity Coalition, an alliance of businesses, local trade associations and concerned individuals committed to supporting a common sense, pro-growth agenda for America today announced its launch in Georgia.
"American businesses pay way too much in taxes, and are forced to dedicate far too many resources to navigating our overcomplicated tax code," said State Representative Lynne Riley (R-50). "If we really want the economy to grow and create more jobs, we need to relieve both of these burdens on businesses—lower their taxes and make the tax code simpler."
The group will support comprehensive tax and immigration reform and expanding trade opportunities and will educate federal lawmakers and state residents about the economic benefits of these policies and illustrate the consequences of inaction.
"Robust international trade is essential to a growing economy, in our state and in the nation as a whole," said State Representative Trey Kelley (R-16), the Director of Marketing for W.C. Brooks Co. "Congress and the President need to work together to get trade deals done and open new markets to American goods and services."
"It's time for our elected leaders in Washington, to move past the peripheral concerns bogging down Congress and take real action on the important issues we face as a country, such as fixing our tax code, trade policies and immigration system," said small business owner Matt McCord.
Interested parties can engage with Main Street Growth & Opportunity Georgia by visiting its website (http://www.mainstreetgrowthandopportunity.org) to sign up for e-mail alerts and by following it on social media.
The original FY 2014 budget approved during the 2013 Session set spending at $19.9 billion. House Bill 743, the Amended FY 2014 Budget, sets spending at a slightly higher amount, $20.2 billion, based on revised revenue projections. This additional revenue of $313.9 million represents an increase of 1.57% over the original FY 2014 budget.
This budget exemplifies the spirit and intent of an “amended” budget and is limited to making only the changes needed to balance within the new revenue estimate, funding the mid-term adjustment for K-12 education, and realigning agency budgets based on need. Highlights of those changes are included in the following document:
Gov. Nathan Deal today named state Rep. Lynne Riley (R-Johns Creek) to his House floor leader team, replacing Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin) who was elected state House Republican caucus chair.
As floor leader, Riley joins Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville) and Rep. Chad Nimmer (R-Blackshear). The floor leaders carry the governor's legislation in the House and serve as the Governor's Office liaisons to their fellow members.
The American Conservative Union (ACU) announced its second annual ACU Ratings of the Georgia General Assembly, honoring the Peach State's true conservatives.
The winners of the "ACU Conservative" award – given to those members who scored 80 percent or higher on the ACU Ratings of the Georgia General Assembly.