Terry England, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, had to close his Winder-based farm supply business in 2012 but still owes the quasi-governmental Georgia Development Authority the better part of $575,000 borrowed to consolidate its debts in 2009. The property was rezoned in February 2013 to allow a church to operate there under a lease-purchase arrangement that will cover payments on the loan.
Thanks to a homestead exemption and conservation use assessment, England has achieved the enviable goal of paying virtually no property taxes on the 11 acres in Barrow County where he resides. His 2012 tax bill was $1.25.
Wayne D. McLocklin, England’s long-time campaign treasurer, was named in 2012 to fill a new Superior Court judgeship in the Piedmont Judicial Circuit. England co-sponsored a bill to create the position, needed because the circuit had one of the heaviest caseloads per judge in the state.
Here’s a plan for making budget cuts that cost taxpayers $618,000 more every year: Replace private security guards making $77,000 a year at the state Capitol with troopers earning about nine times as much. That’s what the state Department of Public Safety did in 2010.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston championed more earmark spending last year than any other Georgia congressman. Now he’s running to lead the House Appropriations Committee. Kingston touted his anti-earmark credentials Friday in announcing his bid for Appropriations chair. Data shows he sponsored or co-sponsored $211 million in earmarks since 2008.
Rep. Mark Butler secretly taped conversations with University of West Georgia officials after they fired a lobbyist who was his former girlfriend, the Carrollton Times-Georgian reports. Butler later called the university to complain, telling a secretary that her boss “had just pissed off the whole political party firing Erin. This includes Speaker of the House, Rules Chairman and Senate.”
Rep. Mark Burkhalter, not House Speaker Glenn Richardson, appears to be the Georgia Legislature’s top campaign fund-raiser for 2009. The Johns Creek Republican, who serves as speaker pro tem, collected $94,250 in campaign funds for the first six months of 2009. Richardson reported raising $88,150 in the same period.