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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Vote yes on Amendment 2
October 24, 2012 12:06 PM | 5678 views | 1 1 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print

EDITOR:

It is a shame more citizens have not heard about Amendment 2, which will allow Georgia to enter into multiyear leases. The State Properties Commission estimates taxpayers will save $66 million over 10 years, with potential future savings.

When we think about government spending, big-ticket items come to mind like education and transportation. But routine items, like leased office space for government workers, add up.

Currently, taxpayers pay higher rates than “market” renters because Georgia is prohibited from signing multiyear leases. If Amendment 2 is approved, long-term leases can be executed for office space rather than expensive one-year leases. If government workers stay in existing buildings for lower rental rates, it’s real savings for taxpayers.

The state currently stays in leased office space for an average of 10.7 years. Passing this amendment will not extend occupancy. Instead, it will lower the amount paid for currently leased space.

We do this in our own lives. With today’s low interest rates, many are refinancing and saving hundreds on their mortgages. They live in the same house, with less out-of-pocket costs and greater savings. This type of cost-savings would happen for taxpayers if Amendment 2 passes.

This is a safe and fiscally sound approach has worked in other states. Georgia is one of only two states with an AAA bond rating that require single-year leases.

Voting yes for Amendment 2 simply makes sense. And state leaders across the aisle agree, which is why this bill passed with near unanimous support in the General Assembly. It is not only a way to save millions of taxpayer dollars; it is an investment in Georgia’s future.

Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, R-Gainesville

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JST
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October 25, 2012
I would be more open to a longer lease contracts but not 20 years. If the average lease time is 10 years then maybe that would be more acceptable.

To keep politicians honest I would ideally not want the lease agreements to extend beyond one of the typical office terms such as 2, 4, or 6 years. That way they don't make a deal with there buddy to lease his office space for 20 years and then gets voted out for corruption after 2 years and the tax payer is stuck with a bill for the remaining 18 years.

I'm voting no. I would be voting yes for a extension to 2 years but not 20.
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