Athens-Clarke County is the smallest county in Georgia, and so the tax base is already hamstrung by this geographic restraint. To ensure that Athens remains a vibrant community with opportunities for all citizens, the Commission must facilitate investment in Athens-Clarke County.
Our community needs the revenue. If the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government is to provide top-notch services, support cultural pursuits, ensure public safety, and maintain a decent quality of life for all citizens; it needs adequate funding. The only reliable way to secure this revenue is to promote sustainable economic investment in Athens-Clarke County.
More importantly, the future of our schools hinges upon our tax base. Although the School Board receives the majority of all property taxes, taxes at the maximum rate, and is supported by sales taxes such as E-SPLOST; teachers are still being laid off. David believes that excellent public schools and quality education for all Athenians are among the most important factors for long-term economic development.
Businesses, potential employers, and the spark of innovation depend upon a trained and educated workforce. Despite the importance of our schools, the Athens-Clarke County is taking a step backwards. Going forward, the Athens-Clarke County Commission must take a leadership role and encourage investment in the tax base because there are no untapped sources of revenue for our schools. The long-term future of Athens depends upon it.