Timber growers make tax request
A group of local timber growers went before the board of assessors Sept. 3 with a request to consider a distinction between large and small acreages tracts that could result in a tax adjustment for large tracts.
By following the example of other nearby counties with agriculture tax bases, McDuffie County could consider changing the way large tracts are taxed so a disproportionate amount of the tax burden doesn't fall to timber growers, the group said.
"We don't mind paying taxes, but we don't think it's right to pay more than our fair share," said timber grower Boone Knox.
Timber grower Harold Eubank, whose taxes on one large tract went up 84 percent since 2003, noted that growers pay additional taxes when trees are cut.
Timber grower Jim Alfriend asked the board to consider creating a wasteland category for land that is not usable for their purposes, such as when timber acreage is lost due to the presence of large power lines.
The board responded to the requests, asking for more information on how neighboring counties handle the assessments so it could develop an appropriate solution.
In other action, the board announced the tax digest had been delivered to Atlanta the previous day.
Jay's decision delayed
The owners of Jay's Cafe -- formerly known as the T & W Lounge -- only got a little closer to an answer on their rezoning request Sept. 1. The McDuffie County Commission held a work session to discuss inspection delays that the owners said stemmed from the county's planning and zoning department, the health department and the fire marshall's office.
Commissioners were not able to discuss the potential legalities during executive session after their regular meeting due to the absence of the county attorney. The matter was tabled until the next regular meeting on Sept. 21.
The cafe parking lot was the site of the New Year's Day 2002 shooting of a 14-year-old Thomson girl. After the shooting, Commissioners revoked the establishment's alcohol license.
The cafe -- which is located in a neighborhood on Viola Avery Street -- was closed more than a year, according to the county; therefore, it lost its grandfather status in regards to zoning. The planning board recommended to the County Commission on Aug. 3 that Jay's Cafe not be rezoned.
Inn transfers license
The restaurant at a Thomson areaŻbed and breakfast will now be allowed to serve alcohol. The 1810 Country Inn already had an alcohol license but owners decided they wanted it to apply to their on-site restaurant.
McDuffie County Commis-sioners voted to approve the license transfer during their Sept. 1 meeting. The application motivated commissioners to ask about looking into making alcohol licenses more site specific.