At almost every closing these days, several minutes is dedicated to discussing the possible appeal of the current property tax assessment. While we homeowners have had to face declining values, home buyers are getting some amazing deals. Often, their first instinct is to run to the Gwinnett County Tax office to appeal their assessment.
I don't usually editorialize, but I would like to suggest that we slow down and give this a lot of consideration. We are fortunate to live in Gwinnett County, where we are able to count on the amenities of good schools (Gwinnett was the only metro Atlanta county to move forward in building needed new schools in 2009), beautiful public parks, public libraries, road improvements, and fire and police services. So far, Gwinnett has weathered the recession better than most. However, this may change because of budget deficits.
Yesterday, I got an e-mail notice from the Library Elf, telling me that a long awaited book was ready for pick up. Just an hour later, I received the following press release from Michelle Long with Gwinnett County Public Library:
"LAWRENCEVILLE, GEORGIA (9 July 2009) - In an effort to balance the County budget, Commissioners will undoubtedly implement cuts that impact all aspects of Gwinnett County, including Gwinnett County Public Library. While the Library does receive a small amount of funding from the state, the majority of the funding is from the County.
"The Library has made a number of significant cuts over the last six months, and further cuts are anticipated in 2010. Unfortunately, due to the difficult financial times, the library administration has been forced to make some drastic decisions that impact library hours, services, and programs. A hiring freeze has already been implemented, and the library has now reached the tipping point where full services can no longer be provided with reduced staff."
The way the library has decided to handle this economic crisis is very reasonable, and the citizens of Gwinnett will easily adapt. However, this is a sign of things to come. Let's support Gwinnett County to enable our government to continue to provide services to its people.