I continue to read with astonishment and disappointment newspaper reports of our countys board of Assessors decision to deny the YMCA a tax exempt status on the planned new facility. How can the board of assessors not realize the YMCA is indeed a charitable institution recognized as such by both the IRS and Georgia Department of Revenue? Both of these government agencies have strict regulations and procedures to which tax exempt organizations must comply.
The full service YMCA will provide additional jobs and space for a medical clinic to better serve our citizens, which will bring in additional tax revenue. I wonder if the members of the board of assessors realize the Northwest Georgia area is underserved with family physicians.
I have not found any logical reason for the board of assessors' denial of the YMCAs request other than the board had legal authority to do so and received a legal opinion from out of the county lawyers at taxpayers' expense. This second opinion was sought to provide a legal justification for the boards pending decision after receiving a legal opinion from our county attorney that obviously did not support their position to deny the YMCAs request.
The property question is not currently on the property tax rolls, and if the tax-exempt status is not granted to the new YMCA, it will not be built in Catoosa County. Consequently, the property will remain untaxed and the additional tax generated by the operation of the new YMCA will be lost. The only way the citizens of our county will lose is if the new YMCA will be lost. The only way the citizens of our county will lose is if the new YMCA is built outside of our county. Does anyone else detect the foul odor of deceit and behind the scene political shadiness in these tainted proceedings?
Perhaps the board was not sufficiently advised as to the many services and benefits the new YMCA facility would bring to our county. Perhaps the board was misinformed or was influenced by someone in authority which causes me to ask the questions of who would do this to the citizens of Catoosa County and why? The only person with authority who continues to speak out publicly against the YMCA is chairman of the county commission. This is the same chairman who dissolved the planning and zoning board because he could not control their actions. Did the board of assessors feel the same pressure? Has the chairmans involvement and the membership in the Rock Fitness Center affected his treacherous behavior? Is the chairmans appetite for power and control, along with his tactics of intimidation and scheming, causing a leadership vacuum that is leading our county back to the past instead of forward into the future. These and many other questions need to be answered and the citizens of Catoosa County deserve the truth.
James M. Haddock