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Be Aware: New State Tax Law Went into effect Jan. 1

Be Aware: New State Tax Law Went into effect Jan. 1

Hall County, GA--  (submitted by Hall County)

Under Georgia tax law applied in Jan. 2010, property owners may apply for a tax exemption year round (except for the Conservation Use exemption), but only exemptions filed by April 1 will apply to the current year tax statement. There are more new changes effective Jan. 1, 2011 as a result of S.B. 346.

• Property owners have 45 days to file an assessment appeal rather than 30 days.

• Property purchased in 2010 for less value than the county assessment of record will be taxed for 2011 at that lower value; but if the purchase price is higher, the county cannot raise the taxable value. So if you bought a $400,000 house in foreclosure for only $150,000, the county can only tax you for $150,000.

• The county is required to send every taxpayer an assessment notice each year, whether there has been a change in the value or not. The notices go out at the beginning of the summer.

Forsyth County to benefit from the use of federal ICE Strategies

Gainesville, GA--  (submitted by Barbara Gonzalez)

On Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began using a federal information sharing capability in Forsyth County that helps federal immigration officials use biometrics to identify aliens, both lawfully and unlawfully present in the United States, who are booked into local law enforcement’s custody for a crime. This capability is part of Secure Communities—ICE’s comprehensive strategy to improve and modernize the identification and removal of aliens convicted of a crime from the United States.

“The Secure Communities strategy provides ICE with an effective tool to identify criminal aliens in local custody,” said Secure Communities Assistant Director David Venturella. “Enhancing public safety is at the core of ICE’s mission.

10 Things a Burglar Won't Tell You

ATLANTA -- What does a burglar think when they look at your flower beds?

Could information you post on your Facebook page be of interest to a burglar?

Read this list of Ten Things a Burglar Won't Tell You.

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste, and taste mean there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming systems they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up in the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer on your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

Georgia Dems Lose Another One To The GOP.

   "You're taxed from the time you get up to the time you go to bed by somebody," opined Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell, enjoying his first official day as the state's newest Republican lawmaker.

   Bell insists he has always been a conservative living in a liberal's body politic.

   But today that changed, with his high-profile defection from the Democratic Party to the Republicans.

Black Democratic Hall County Official Switches Parties

Black Democratic Hall County Official Switches Parties

ATLANTA -- Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell, former national president of the College Democrats of America and 2004 superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention announced his switch to the Republican Party Thursday.

Bell becomes the first African American elected official to switch parties since the general election.

"I'm joining the Republican Party because I'm a conservative and simply feel more at home as a Republican," Bell said. "I have worked to make government more efficient and less intrusive in citizens' lives and plan to continue those efforts as a Republican."

He made his announcement in an Atlanta press conference Thursday morning.

"We are excited that Commissioner Bell will help lead the way for many other conservative African Americans to leave the Democratic Party and join the Republican Party. We welcome all conservatives with open arms," Georgia Republican Party Chairman Sue Everhart said in a statement.

North Hall Park & Community Center-Library Construction begins this Month

Atlanta, GA--  The Hall County Board of Commissioners approved a $9.73-million contract late last week for construction of the North Hall Park and Community Center-Library on Nopone Road. Grading work is already under way, and the remaining construction will begin within the next two weeks. Charles Black Construction is the construction manager for the project.

North Hall Park, the community center and library are 1-cent sales tax projects approved by the voters for central North Hall. The commission voted on the Nopone Road site in February.

The first phase of North Hall Park will include four Little League baseball fields, a running track, walking trails, multipurpose field, and a children’s play area. Future phases will include more a recreational lawn, sports fields, hiking/bicycling trails and natural areas.

Last Day for United Way's Online Auction with special VIP Gifts

Last Day for United Way's Online Auction with special VIP Gifts

Atlanta, GA--  Just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta is sponsoring “Gift Back: An Online Auction” for the first time.  Dozens of items and packages will be available for bids from Nov. 26 through Dec. 6, 2010, by logging on to unitedwayatlanta.org.

Anyone wishing to nab one or more of the wonderful items, donated by local and national organizations, should bid and bid often to increase their chances of winning. Once bidding ends Dec. 6 at midnight, those with winning bids will be contacted by a United Way representative.

This is a public auction.  Funds will go toward reaching the United Way 2010 fundraising goal of $80.2 million. Some of the items available for bids include a trip to Super Bowl, tickets to the Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Cancun getaway, a night with the Atlanta Braves, artwork, collectibles, airline tickets, Olympics paraphernalia and much, much more.