It has been said that there are only two things in life that are certain, death and taxes. How sad is the world that we now find ourselves trying to navigate.

Those of us who are older have a deep well of experiences from which to draw our strength. We have weathered similar storms before ... but what of our nation’s young adults and our children? Where do they find rest for their unsettled souls? Not so many months ago it was our churches and our faith families, but now that has been torn from our hands due to COVID-19.

Each day our eyes filter the images of violent protesters, raging wildfires and police brutality on both sides. Isn’t this enough to deal with each day?

Apparently for those of us who dwell in the county, our plates were not filled to capacity. It seems that our elected commissioners in Rome and Floyd County have placed a target on the backs of their loyal taxpayers.

In the last several weeks, the word “annexation” has been a topic of unrest for those of us who have chosen our homes and schools based on location and attributes therein. It leads one to question who it benefits if county communities are engulfed by the city.

I believe it will not be the homeowners, for they will be paying both city and county taxes. It won’t be the county school teachers and staff who will instantly lose millions in revenue — which could lead to less income and possibly employment, if schools are annexed or consolidated.

What becomes of the neighborhoods impacted by the loss of a community school, which is a determining factor when young people are purchasing their homes? Will that cause well-established communities to die out? What about our children? They would be the true casualties. Losing their schools and their communities would lessen their stability and trust in those around them.

To our commissioners, may I make a suggestion? Consider a penny or two sales tax across the board to offset the loss of funds which happened when the power plant closed. In this way, the burden of the problem would be equally dispersed among city and county homeowners and renters. Thereby leaving our communities, schools and, most importantly, our children’s futures, dreams and hopes alive.

Give them what we had growing up — neighborhoods, teachers, friends, families and churches that they can lean on and depend on to put them first, above our wants and needs.

Rebecca Ann Payne


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