“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” ~ George Orwell, Animal Farm
We’d like to point out a few enforcement inconsistencies in our local Columbia County Government.
If you don’t know him, Mr. Doug Batchelor is the attorney hired by Columbia County to oversee legal matters for the county. This is a very desirable and lucrative position to have. In addition, his firm reaps the financial benefits from being the co-bond counsel for many of our bonds.
Please look on Columbia County’s website, www.columbiacountyga.gov Go to “Online Services” and scroll down to “Property Maps”. Enter either Batchelor, Douglas, or in the Parcel ID block enter 073001. Yes, this is property owned by Doug Batchelor… County Attorney. http://188.8.131.52/columbia/default.htm
Please spend some time reading the information for this property. Note that it is located at 4790 Hereford Farm Road, right across the street from the Columbia County Board of Education. The property consists of 27 acres and has 4441 finished square feet of living space. Now look at the value the county has placed on the property: $246,709. When Ron Cross tells you property taxes haven’t doubled, he must be talking about Batchelor’s “pad”. Batchelor has his property under the “conservation use” program, meaning he pays reduced taxes in exchange for not developing the property. The value of any residence on the property is supposed to be excluded from conservation use assessment.
Now let’s do some comparison shopping.
Batchelor’s immediate neighbor to the east has a 3333 square foot house on less than 1 acre that is valued by the county at $360,858.
In the same neighborhood is a 3375 square foot house on 1.5 acres that is valued by the county at $312,666.
To the west is property consisting of 18.575 acres with a 3821 square foot house that is valued by the county at $633,440.
In his immediate neighborhood, County Attorney Doug Batchelor has the biggest house and the most land, yet his assessed property value, for taxing purposes, is the lowest. Next time you see him or Ron Cross, ask why!
Speaking of Ron Cross, we cannot find any property in Columbia County that he owns. Isn’t it odd that our Commission Chairman doesn’t own property in the county? Although there is no property in his name, we did find some interesting facts; it seems our commission chairman is not immune from favorable treatment.
…check back in a few days for the conclusion.