State Sens. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) and John Albers (R-Roswell) heard from residents on education, sales tax, TSPLOST and other issues at a joint town hall meeting at on Saturday, Jan. 28.
After hearing an update from Albers and Rogers, Carol Wood opened with questions, asking the legislators not to balance the state budget on seniors' backs. Seniors haven't seen an increase in Social Security in three years, and most of that was taken up by increasing Medicare costs, she said. Many seniors depend upon the food pantry at her church. More and more residents over 50 "are coming to us blessing us for the food they are getting from us because they are tired of eating oatmeal and grits three times a day," Wood said.
Albers said if seniors' income tax was reduced to nothing, and the state switched to a consumption tax, they'd have more money available. Three years ago the state passed a bill to completely eliminate the income tax on all seniors' retirement income. As of the next year, they'll be paying no income tax on retirement income.
Rogers said seniors who live in Cherokee County don't pay any school property tax now, which is two-thirds of their property tax. And a county commissioner is pushing state lawmakers to allow them to remove the county property tax also. That can be done in every county, Rogers said.
Listen to other area residents' questions, and the senators' answers, in the videos that accompany this article.
Rogers will next hold town hall meetings in Woodstock, Canton and Marietta in February and early March before returning to North Fulton for another joint meeting with Albers on March 24 at 10:30 a.m. at the American Legion/VFW, 140 Dobbs Drive, Roswell.