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White Letter - 05/15/09

I listened Tuesday, May 4, as Rockdale County Chairman Richard Oden outlined his plans for Rockdale County before the League of Women Voters. He stated that the Rockdale water system had too much debt and he wanted that decreased. On Friday, the Rockdale Citizen had the article about increasing the rates we all pay for water. Chairman Oden also said we need to increase sewage capacity. Obviously, we need more sewage capacity to allow denser growth in the county. Thus Rockdale County residents can expect to pay more for water to allow more growth.

Rockdale County Chairman Oden also told the League of Women Voters that Rockdale County was not getting as much money from the HOST sales tax as it once did. He stated that county property owners would be required to make up the difference by reducing the 100 percent property tax deduction to maybe 80 percent. In plainer language, you will start paying property taxes to run the county again and continue to pay the HOST sales tax.

Chairman Oden advised that Rockdale County would be getting federal economic stimulus monies and these would go to varied road projects inside the county to widen roads and improve intersections. These projects are needed for the growth expected in the county and to reduce the traffic congestion from the growth of the past decade.

Simply put, Rockdale County Chairman and CEO Richard Oden expects the county to grow much more and the current county residents are going to pay for the needed improvements to help that growth with fees and taxes.

Personally I feel quite sad for those county residents and property owners who live on fixed incomes. You can expect your bills to the county to increase for both water and property taxes.

Chairman Oden did, however, say that he himself was appealing his own property taxes, which he thought were far too high. I could not believe no one raised objection to the idea that someone who wants to raise everyone's water fees and increase the property taxes of everyone wants his own property taxes lowered.

He runs for re-election in 2012.

James W. White

Conyers