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N. Ga. congressmen vote to repeal Death Tax

Rep. Tom Graves Votes to Repeal the Death Tax

tom-gravesWashington, D.C. – Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after voting today for the Death Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 1105), which would repeal the estate tax, also known as the death tax:

“Liberals in Washington want to tax every event in life, including death. They view the death of certain people as a pay day for their big government programs. But make no mistake: the death tax is unfair, insensitive to grieving families and punishes hard work. It’s also particularly brutal for families that own farms, as the land and equipment necessary for farming can quickly exceed the exempted amount, causing this devastating tax to be levied on the next generation. It’s past time to repeal this unacceptable tax. Every American deserves the ability to pass their life’s savings to their kids.”

The death tax is a 40 percent tax on an individual’s assets, above an exempted amount, when transferred to the next generation after death.





dougcollins Today, following national Tax Day, Congressman Doug Collins voted for the Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015. H.R. 1105, which passed the House of Representatives, would repeal the widely unpopular double-taxation on Americans’ inheritance.

    “Family farmers in Northeast Georgia work all their lives, pay income taxes, and sometimes save enough to pass down inheritance to their children -- only to see the federal government swoop in at the worst possible time to exact another tax,” said Collins. “Some even have to sell off land they’ve owned for generations to pay this punishing Death Tax.”

    Collins added that the federal government collected record taxes in 2014. “As if $3 trillion dollars isn’t enough, the IRS wants to collect a relatively small amount from grieving families. I’m supporting this bill to improve their peace of mind and finances.”

     Citing nearly $5.8 billion of fraudulent refunds the Internal Revenue Service paid in 2013, Collins said his aim is to rein in the “out-of-control” agency. “It needs to get its own books in order, before the IRS digs deeper into Northeast Georgians’ pockets. It’s taxing earnings twice.”

    According to the Tax Foundation, two-thirds of Americans consistently oppose the Death Tax. The free-market group’s research shows that repeal would benefit small businesses – especially family-owned farms and ranches – spur investment and create jobs.

    Collins, a House Judiciary Committee member, represents Georgia’s agriculture-heavy Ninth District. He voted this week for a series of Republican tax reforms, including a Taxpayer Bill of Rights, as well as bills to protect taxpayers’ private information, political non-profit organizations, and charitable donations.


"Wait is over’ for families in need of cannabis oil," says governor

gasealGov. Nathan Deal today signed HB 1, legislation that permits the use of medical cannabis oil to treat certain conditions. The law took effect immediately upon Deal’s signature. Deal signed an executive order last month instructing state agencies, physicians and law enforcement officials to prepare for the law’s enactment.


“For the families enduring separation and patients suffering pain, the wait is finally over,” Deal said. “I applaud the efforts of the Department of Public Health and the Georgia Composite Medical Board to see that this legislation is implemented safely and in a timely manner. Now, Georgia children and their families may return home while continuing to receive much-needed care. Patients such as Haleigh Cox, for whom this bill is named, and others suffering from debilitating conditions can now receive the treatment they need, in the place where they belong: Georgia.”


Patients with the following conditions are eligible for medical cannabis oil under this law: cancer, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s and sickle cell. 

    "Today, HB 1 officially became Georgia state law, and we can now begin the highly anticipated process of bringing our medical refugees back home to Georgia," Rep. Allen Peake said. "I am extremely grateful to Gov. Deal for his continued leadership and for making this historic and monumental day happen. The true heroes, without which none of this would have been possible, are the families who fought courageously and tirelessly to see this legislation through to its passage." 

    Moving forward, forms created by the Georgia Medical Composite Board may be obtained through the Department of Public Health (DPH). Once certified by the appropriate health care provider, patients meeting the law’s criteria will be provided with documentation allowing for possession of low-THC cannabis oil. DPH has already issued temporary cards to seven individuals and anticipates the permanent statewide system will be online in the coming weeks.

   The law also codified the ongoing clinical trials at Georgia Regents University, which the governor set in motion last year through an executive order. Finally, the Commission on Medical Cannabis, created by HB 1, includes designated members and appointments to be filled by Deal. The commission will provide recommendations for consideration during the next legislative session. The appointment process is under way.

Library materials budget down to zero

No budget increase could mean cuts to staff, hours



    From left, Joann Forrest and James Moore say they use the Pickens library computers nearly everyday. Cutting hours could negatively impact residents such as these.

    Ann Dobson, chair of the Pickens County Library Board of Trustees, recently told commissioners if the library doesn’t get an increase in their 2016 budget, reduction of staff and library hours will be next on the chopping block.

Plans for chicken houses ruffle feathers

Proposal of 12 mega poultry houses meets opposition

at planning commission meeting
chicken-house-satellite    The red outlined parcel has been proposed for new poultry houses. Many surrounding homeowners spoke in opposition to the plan at Monday’s planning commission meeting.   

     Hearing from more than 20 speakers Monday opposed to a rezoning request needed to bring 12 “mega” chicken houses to Carlan Road, the planning commission decided to slow things down, tabling the issue for a month.
See the print or online editions for full story.


Chastain bloodline could hold key to Alzheimer’s research

"We’re the only family known with this gene," says Chastain descendant.

"If we step up we can help everybody.”


Descendants of Pierre Chastain who in Pickens and Gilmer counties unroll their extensive family tree. Top researcher Dr. Allan Levey at Emory's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center believes studying the Chastain family's genetics could lead to breakthroughs in the field.

    It was July 12, 1700 when the ship Mary and Ann of London arrived at the mouth of Virginia’s James River. On board were Pierre Chastain and other French Huguenot refugees who left Gravesend, England for the New World.
    Chastain, one of the ship’s 207 passengers, organized the transcontinental journey – but along with those