Express Yourself….While You Still Can

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Are you ready for your next property tax increase in Pike County? The Pike County Board of Education has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 15.83%.

I fully understand and appreciate the fact that churches are allowed to sit on tax free land in our country. It does bring up questions in my mind when I look at the acreage allowed for churches.

Let us take a look at The Georgia Baptist Children Home, for example. This facility has been in the same place for at least 66 years because it was there when I was born two miles from the original building. For some reason, the location address on now shows the location address as Vega Road. That little fact for the curious, could mean nothing or it could mean something. I do not care if they change the location address to a post office box, if the buildings will fit into one.

I do care about some other facts about The Georgia Baptist Children Home. They own 85.89 acres of land. The land is valued at 3 million, four hundred sixty eight thousand, seven hundred and seventy two dollars. Their tax class is E2-Exempt. I called to confirm what I already thought, which is…E2-Exempt means…. this is a church and does not pay taxes.

Let me give you one more example to think about as your taxes may increase by 15.83%.

Our old buddy, Teen Challenge, remember them. It sits quietly now, since the break-outs are not as vocal as they were in the past. When  originally established, you will recall, the break-outs were regular and reports were followed up by our Sheriff’s Department. Then, all of a sudden…evidently, Teen Challenge did not know the children were missing…UNTIL AFTER THEY WERE FOUND working in another county.

Teen Challenge has changed ownership with the reason listed as LOVE & AFFECTION so much that, Cupid and his Valentines should live on that hill. The most recent transaction, transferred ownership from First Assembly of God, Griffin Ga INC to Teen Challenge of Florida INC.

So now, Teen Challenge of Florida, 1976 Houston Avenue, Macon, Georgia 31201 owns 36.1 E0-Exempt acres in Pike County valued at 1 million, four hundred fifty seven thousand, one hundred and forty eight dollars…..but when a problem arises, they will call the Pike County Sheriff or other emergency personnel who are paid by , THE PIKE COUNTY TAXPAYER.

So, I urge you to be kind and generous. Have loads of love and affection in your heart…as I will certainly have…as I whip out my check book to pay my, most likely increased, tax bills in the upcoming years. Remember the meeting scheduled for September 7. They need and want your love and affection….and questions, don’t forget your questions.

My personal opinion, the land for a church, cemetery and sufficient parking space should be tax exempt. I hope these things are always tax exempt in America. BUT, not a Hundred Acre Woods in which Winnie-the Pooh would get lost.

No one can fail to notice the many churches on the stretch of road between Zebulon and Georgia Baptist Children Home on highway 19 South. Some new ones and some still in the process of being built. One is located in a house…..Wow, isn’t it wonderful to have a Christian Outbreak in Pike County? It sure is, as long as they remember to abide by the Good Book…………

Mark 12:17

And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

Sheila Tolley


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