Gwinnett County is a suburb of Atlanta, GA. Private property is under assault and taxpayer money is being used to finance the crime. The Gwinnett Daily Post published the editorial below on April 18, 2001. According to an article in this same issue, a condemnation hearing arbitration specialist has valued the property at $7.2 million. According to the owner, this is $2 million less than the property is worth. He plans to appeal.
Dear Editor Gwinnett Daily Post:
Your April 15th front page article on the Deshong Crossing condemnation hearing was instructive. It shows us how local government creates a problem, throws our money at it, then turns into a socialist tyrant in order to force its will and extract more funds from the Gwinnett taxpayer.
Let me see if I can get this straight. The 208 acre Deshong Crossing property was owned for several generations by the Rainey family who wanted to see it become a park. The county wanted no part of it. Because higher and higher property taxes were burdensome, the Raineys sold the property to a developer.
The developer comes up with a long term plan that makes his property valuable. This makes his Summertown neighbors nervous. Residents of Summertown persuade County Commission Chairman Wayne Hill to lobby for a tax increase on all the citizens of Gwinnett so that the county can purchase the Deshong Crossing property from the developer.
The plan works, except the pesky developer doesn’t go along. He believes his property is now worth double what the county is willing to pay. No problem. The county board of commissioners decides to flex their immoral political muscle by condemning the property and forcing the developer to “cough it up.”
I miss the good’ol days when thieves were ashamed of themselves and wore masks to cover their identity.
Don’t feel too sorry for the developer. He has a county judge and an arbitration specialist looking out for his interest. He may even end up with a decent profit.
Who will be protecting Gwinnett County taxpayers at this hearing? It damn sure wasn’t Wayne Hill or any other member of his outlaw gang.