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Imker miffed about Senate inaction

Peachtree City’s bid to increase the hotel-motel tax rate fell flat at the state legislature this year.

While it won approval in the House of Representatives, it was never voted on in the Senate, City Councilman Eric Imker said Thursday night.

Because of the inaction, the city won’t realize a projected $130,000 increase in revenue for its general fund, Imker noted.

Moreover, Imker said, he and his fellow councilmembers have been unsuccessful in contacting local Senator Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, to speak about the matter.

“I know there are some other council members who have also asked Mr. Chance with no reply,” Imker said, adding that he hopes Chance will be willing to address the matter on the record.

The hotel-motel tax increase would have brought the city’s rate from 6 to 7 percent, reversing an action taken several years ago to reduce the rate in an effort to help those businesses.

“I was very disappointed that the Senate did not take up the action to at least vote one way or another,” Imker said. “... As a result, the city is going to be short an expected $130,000 this year.”

The hotel-motel tax increase request was approved on a 3-2 council vote in January, with Mayor Don Haddix and Councilman Doug Sturbaum voting against.



Mike King's picture

As much as I side with Mr Imker on budget matters, I can not help but think our dear Council has either already made arrangements to spend funds they don't have or they're dissapointed a pet project will have to be eliminated. Less than two years ago our city's debt had reached some $18M, and with the funding of $702K to upgrade an already adequate firestation, I wonder where our city's debt stands currently.

No wonder they think little of $7,000.00 to cut the grass at four fire stations.

Didn't Mr. (Mayor) Haddix vote against the tax increase? Give him credit!

Would you be for my suggestion of voiding the city pensions and using

Are military pensions adjusted for COLAs? Is there any tax on their retirement benefits (healh, PX privileges, resorts, etc.) used by pensioners?

Once again Mr. King, you speak on something you don't know anything about and as usual without the facts. The "funding of $702K to upgrade an already adequate fire station", I guess the term "adequate" is based on your extensive knowledge base on fire station design, the design, use and deployment of heavy fire apparatus along with your study of sociology and psychology in the workplace.
Lets get some of the "facts" out there for you; First, this facility was designed "on the cheap" to begin with, by a previous administration (early 1990's) with minimal vision at best. The administration at the time didn't take into account things like growth and living space for more than one or two personnel or the deployment of modern fire equipment. Hell, since It's out there and has been publicly stated before, in 1992 the Administration at the time designed this facility around an old 1977 pumper the city owned at the time, a truck that didn't even make it to the station opening, having died and been replaced before the stations' completion. The station was built for a maximum of two personnel, but now at this time houses four personnel for 24 hours, with volunteers sometimes as many as five or six during daytime hours. The kitchen itself only has like three cabinets and about 24 inches of counter space - ask your wife how that would even work for one person living there.
Four personnel sleep in a undivided bunk room, again originally built for two people, kind of opens the door to potential liability, especially when considering the staffing of the FD is mixed gender - OK, again ask your wife or any other female you know, how they might like that sleeping arrangement. I'd guess you would be one of the first in line to post up, if something did occur and the city administration hadn't done anything proactive to address this potential issue, and it resulted in some type of litigation or judgment costing you as a taxpayer.
I guess you also consider "adequate" the needless damage and destruction that occurs to the FD apparatus fleet operating out of this station, due to the poor design of the driveway and ramps, primarily the angle of departure. Continually breaking springs, torquing truck chassis and damaging other suspension components on half million dollar plus trucks is adequate? Continually eating up tires costing $800.00 plus each, just because of poor station design to me is just dumb and should be somehow rectified, but you've proven time and time again to be the expert in this arena.
As I've said before, I'm really glad your political career here was short, much like your short sighted opinions. It was your type of penny wise and pound foolish way of thinking that has led to this problem to begin with - no forethought or vision, and will again cost thousands to rectify.
I won't even go into the mowing thing, which actually FD line personnel had NO problem with, but seems to be your latest hot button. It does seem again "dumb" to take a extensively trained person or persons making X amount an hour off a truck (taking a truck out of service) to mow grass and do yard work, when someone making Y amount less could do it, especially in a short staffed emergency department - I think that was where the proposal may have come from, that and the fact the fire stations were the ONLY city property NOT under the mowing and maintenance contract.
Thank you for your continued support of your local public safety personnel

I do think that once a Senator said that women couldn't serve in the military due to getting infected possibly, at certain times, in a foxhole. Also, if their big male partner in the foxhole were to get wounded, she couldn't carry him to an aid station and he would die.

Some firemen also at one time said they would be afraid to go into a burning building with a female in that she couldn't carry him or others out of the fire if necessary.

I think maybe a female sleeping in a bunk in a dormitory setting might not be so dangerous for the men there.

Maybe we need to get a sleeping trailer outside? As to the broken springs and sharp turns you could park it outside?

We are pretty broke right now.

Mike King's picture

As usual you espouse the position of a city employee who never fails to blow their own horn when someone opines that local government spending continues to exceed revenue. Since you have designated yourself the spokesperson for the PTC Fire department would you care to comment on how many of those firemen accepted employment in this station's current condition. If the sleeping arrangement was that big of a deal, why was employment accepted?

As far as the driveway is concerned, either increase the turn area, or learn to drive. There was no reason other than political for spending $702K.

I'm glad to see that you have no real objection to grass cutting although I still would like to see your Chief showing a little leadership (I believe each department should do the same).

No, I'm NOT the spokesman for PCFD, that's the Fire Chief, I'm just someone whom tires of reading mis-information you post on this site. It's obvious you have your own opinion on all things government, we could argue all day long and I know I could never win. From time to time though, having what I think to be a little more knowledge than you about Public Safety, I've just got to chime in to some of your postings.
Oh, and by the way, your comment about "increasing the turn area or learn to drive" only adds to your ignorance on the issue. Increasing the turn area would require quite possibly almost as much as the $700k with additonal land purchasing required, grading, high tensile concrete, etc... And ultimatly the end result still wouldn't address the interior issues to the building and wouldn't completly resolve all the ramp issues. Sounds like more shortsighted ideas from you, again the kind of thinking that got us to where we are today with issues like this station.
As usual, you just don't get it!

MajorMike's picture

God forgive me for agreeing with Mike King about anything but ...... in this particular instance he happens to be correct. Sadly this whole issue revolves around one of the hallmarks of responsible fiscal management: If you don't have the money, you don't spend it.

If we have female fire(persons) or volunteers, they need not be assigned to this particular station if they object to the privacy shortcomings. Past that, bunkbeds work just fine.

Qualifications? Knowledge? I am a 1981 graduate of the Georgia Fire Academy (Industrial certification) when it was in Marietta next to where Southern Poly is now so I do know a wee bit about the calling. I donated my turnout suit and hat to the PTCFD when I moved here.

Lastly, station personal and station chiefs have always been proud to do their own landscape maintenance, cooking, and equipment maintenance. So whats changed that we now need to budget $7000 more (that we don't have) to change this.

I don't know squat about fire stations or firefighting, but what I do know is that true professionals, regardless of gender, work situations or circumstances, make things happen and take care of business. If that's not happening in one particular location, then real problem solvers (if there are any) need to look at more than the physical plant.

MajorMike's picture

Too true. While I have a great deal of respect for the chief, I have to wonder where all of this is originating. Is it a wish list or someones fiscal irresponsibility.

I personally would like to hear from an expert without a vested interest or an ax to grind.

What is it that you want to hear from a stranger?

All that is needed is for the city to speak up about holding on expenditures until money is more plentiful and one of those officials ought to be the Chief who at the same time instructs those who work there to keep silent and let him handle it.

If he strongly disagrees then he should resign.

I am aware that the City Manager and Mayor and Council would love to stay out of this. Having grass cut though is not staying out of it.

One of the "Biggest" issues with the fire station is the elevation of the lot, making running trucks out the front impossible without tearing out springs and damaging chassis's, as well as just plane bottoming out. Running out the back requires like six point turns as you only have minimal space between the building and an eight foot retaining wall, this just eats up tires and is breaking up concrete. The fixes put in place will rectify these issues.
Personnally, I have no idea where the landscape add-on originated, and I will point out that personnel on PCFD have been taking on any needed additional responsibilties for years with a wide variety of tasks and projects. Since the layoffs of the PW's employees, they've been cutting grass, trimming bushes, fertilizing, whatever was needed.
As far as the fiscal responsibility, over the years PCFD had traditionally done things "on the cheap", which in cases like this station eventually catch up with you and end up costing more in the long run, rather than doing it right to begin with.

Mike King's picture

No misinformation on my part, but from what has been posted on this thread it would seem the misinformation comes from you.

You obviously work within the public safety arena and have yet to be denied a "wish list" of sorts. Facts are that money is tight, and politicians continue to spend money they don't have and justify doing so on the word of the very same individuals whose biased interests are affected. The public having no say in the matter other than electing individuals who only dispense revenue to that of what is actually on hand.

It's been some time since this town elected a mayor or a council majority who knew how to balance a checkbook.

It was not considered because it was a tax increase.

Mr. Chance won't fight the State Senate for a tax increase.

Six percent currently should be enough burden on hotels anyway.

Tax somebody who now pay nothing, or little tax! How about lawyer fees? How about cancelling the city employees pension plan! Pay 2% into a
401-k only. (Got more if anyone interested.)

Oh, I got it, how about increasing the tax on construction projects? Since nothing s being constructed, except the Chinese building, and they pay no tax, that would seem to hurt no one!

Wouldn't bring any money in either, but that should tell one something.

Roundabout...The hotel doesn't pay the burden, the out of town guest does. I proposed this tax be added years's a revenue generator for the city without an additional burden to the tax-payer.

Most people visiting Peachtree City hotels are use to paying in upwards of 21% hotel/motel tax in other areas of the country. Now because of this issue the citizens must come up with an additional $130,000.00 annually or do without the added benefits that these monies would provide.

Are you including state/county/city, all taxes?

I'm literally holding my hotel receipt from my last trip to Crystal City, VA, the "Beltway Bandit Mecca for most all Govt. contracting", in my hand while I type this.

The room charge was $181.00/night.
Sales tax = $9.05
Occupancy tax = $9.50

Being that PTC is not exactly in the same business zone as say Atlanta GA or Little Rock AK, where are you staying that has a combined tax rate of 21%?

If there was no problem with high taxes onto the hotel bill, then why does the hotel ask that the tax not be increased?

The hotel gets blamed since that is who charges the wonder you are a bad business man and have to stoop to useless vanity exercise.

You must be talking about NY or FL with the 21%!

Do you want to add 21% tax to your gym charges? How many would that turn off?
Then add the 30% "fair tax" to that and what do you have--Is that 51% or is the 21% on top of the 21%, or vice-versa?

I think you favor the "fair tax"?

Try selling that to your clientele Dar!

Do you understand honest marketing now, Dar?

By the way when I travel I pay the hotel tax and I always think they cheat me since I don't know who gets it.

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