The property tax furor can be explained if we understand that these new appraisals are the work of the Board of Tax Assessors, a bureaucratic and omnipotent revenue producing arm of the Columbus Consolidated Government. The tax assessors have a new "toy" in an expensive computer program, and they could not wait to play with it. The city administration is still smarting from their unsuccessful attempt to abolish the tax freeze, and they must find new sources of money to fund special projects such as a new government center. If such a structure is built, it will stand as a testimony to the financial folly of this present administration and Council.
The property tax situation brings to light one important fact: taxpayers in Muscogee County have no rights. They are trampled upon by the tax assessors. These self-serving bureaucrats state that an individual may appeal a tax appraisal, but all the burden and expenses of an appeal rest solely on the shoulders of the taxpayers. If taxpayers can afford to have their property reappraised by an independent appraiser, the tax assessors can be relied upon to reject such an appeal. The Board of Tax Assessors has no effective check upon its powers of appraisal, and functions as an all-powerful and obedient money-raising machine for the Columbus Consolidated Government.
The present administration and Council are in need of money to waste, and this latest property tax rape is nothing more than a vehicle for providing it.
Thomas Orr, Columbus
Not ‘fake science’
The ignorance of climate deniers is appalling, but the prospect of rising seas is trivial compared with truly terrifying calamities which will affect all earth. Geological records reveal that temperatures can alter as much as ten degrees over ten years, and the human tolerance for extended extreme heat is very limited. In Costa Rican jungles, at humidity of 90 percent, 105 environmental degrees would fry a human being to death within mere hours. With an increase of only four degrees, the 2003 European heat wave, which often killed 2,000 people per day, would be a typical summer.
A rule of growing cereal crops states that for every degree of climate warming, crop yields diminish by 10 to 17 percent. In the next 80 years, with five degrees of escalation, we could have 50 percent less grain to feed a 50-percent population increase.
Even now there are diseases that have not been in evidence for millions of years trapped in Arctic ice. Researchers in Alaska have uncovered pathogenic remnants of the 1918 flu that killed 100 million people worldwide. Last year one child was killed and 20 others became ill when the carcass of a frozen reindeer, which had died of anthrax 75 years before, was uncovered by receding permafrost; 2,000 reindeer were also infected and spread disease beyond the area.
Before we become even less intelligent, we must comprehend that by the end of this century, the earth’s ecosystem will abound with uncontrollable catastrophes that destroyed whole civilizations not that many years ago.
Judy Brouillette, Columbus
We live in a MAD (mutually assured destructive) World. We are naked yet apparently unafraid. To most people, this is just more fake news, a comic book, a video game, another channel to change, another opportunity to blame a politician.
In 1958 we lost a 3800-kiloton nuke somewhere off the Savannah coast (the Hiroshima bomb was only 15 kilotons). Russia has lost 84 suitcase nuclear bombs. Today's US arsenal includes nukes with as much as 83 megatons of TNT firepower. The Russians have tested a 50 megaton bomb 3333 times the size of the deadly Hiroshima bomb. North Korea has already tested a bomb 2-3 times the size of the Hiroshima bomb and they are feared to have tested a hydrogen bomb capable of wiping out New York City.
With new technology, smaller bombs detonated at high altitude can wipe out our vulnerable electrical grid through the use of an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). Kim Jung Un has an ICBM capable of sending a payload higher than satellites fly.
World Order is beginning to have a ring to it … as long as our God would be in charge, but man cannot seem to follow 10 rules. We disobey even such a simple rule as "Thou shalt not bear false witness." Who can we trust anymore?
Electronic Armageddon is here. Lights out. TV out. Computer out. Cell phone out. You ready?
Jack Tidwell, Columbus
Real voting ills
The New York Times, in “Combating a Real Threat to Election Integrity,” addresses an important issue for Georgians: the many and varied ways in which voting machines in many states — and Georgia is one of them — create an uncertain voting environment.
I am not alleging the deciding factor in the outcome of an election, but that day is not far away, and it well could be in Georgia.
A comprehensive assessment and prioritization of key steps — as has been recommended to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp by the Department of Homeland Security — to improve the election system would be a far better expenditure of monies than looking for those rare individuals who voted from the grave.
Pinney Allen, Atlanta