UPDATE: Thank you for your visit to our website. It has come to our attention that this blog post is being used as fodder in the 2018 Muscogee County mayoral debate. This page, is a personal agent web page and is not affiliated with any of the candidates. Furthermore, this message about Thawing The Freeze was written by the Columbus GA Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals and was copied and pasted verbatim with their logos and marketing on this blog, because the YP’s supported the Thaw in 2016.
Additionally, the Columbus Board of Realtors held a vote on whether or not support the Thaw in 2016… while not all Realtors did vote to support the Thaw, a voting majority did, so the Thaw was supported by local Realtors who are interested in protecting past and future buyers from a tax system that does not benefit everyone equally.
The Best Darn Real Estate Team is happy to discuss our support of the Thaw because the tax freeze negatively affected us directly. We support change that protects long-term home owners by maintaining the freeze while offering a new solution to reduce the tax burden on young and new-to-the-area home buyers.
Original Post from October 2016
Here’s a word from our Local Young Professionals – the folks who will be living here long after we’re gone:
You may have seen the yard signs or heard conversation in the community about “Thawing the Freeze,” and wondered exactly what that’s all about. We have an opportunity on the ballot this November to make a change in our property tax structure for Muscogee County that will impact YPs who currently own homes, or aspire to become homeowners in the future. In a nutshell, purchasing a home in Muscogee Co. today comes with property taxes that are higher than they should be for the assessed home value, essentially subsidizing the taxes on “frozen” properties of homeowners who purchased their home before the freeze went into effect many years ago (about 25% of homes), and encouraging aspiring homeowners to purchase outside of Muscogee Co.
On August 24th, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the Thaw the Freeze referendum on the Nov. 8th Ballot. As a program of the Chamber, this means that YP as an organization has also taken the position to Thaw the Freeze. Below are some facts about the freeze impacting this decision:
- Columbus has been outpaced in growth by nearly all comparable cities since the start of the property tax freeze to include: Augusta, GA; Athens, GA; Rome, GA; Huntsville, AL; Greenville, NC and the U.S. Southeastern average over the same period. In addition, Columbus has had net zero job growth over the last fifteen years.
- Because the property tax digest is not allowed to grow in value due to the assessment freeze, our consolidated government and school board have had to raise the tax rate up to their legal caps.
- We have the highest business taxes of comparable communities to make up for the lost revenue the freeze prevents.
The ballot referendum offers a fair and reasonable compromise, ensuring that those currently under the freeze are able to keep it – while all future home purchases would be taxed based on a fair-market-value-based system. If you are interested in more information about this proposal, please visit the website Thawthefreeze.com. I also encourage you to attend the community-wide Thaw the Freeze Forum to be hosted at the DoubleTree Hotel on Sidney Simons Boulevard on Tuesday, October 4, 6:00p, to learn the facts for yourself.
Thank you for being an engaged and vibrant member of our community. Your due diligence in considering the facts as they stand and weighing the pros and cons of this proposal ensures that our collective voice as YPs is heard.
Yours in Service,
Greater Columbus, Georgia Young Professionals