Millions of dollars in fees paid to the state aren’t going toward their intended purpose,according to a group advocating for local governments. Georgians pay fees on tires for landfill clean up and court fees for indigent defense. But Debra Nesbitt with the Association for County Commissioners of Georgia says the state has diverted millions of those dollars to fill state budget holes during the recession.
The chancellor of the University System of Georgia has warned of tuition hikes because of shrinking state funding for universities and growing enrollment. The Board of Regents will decide next year's tuition rates at its Tuesday meeting.
State lawmakers expected new fees to generate millions more dollars than they're actually generating. Lawmakers expected an extra $200 paid by the state's worst speed violators to bring in $23 million. It's actually bringing in about $10 million.
Higher tuition and growing demand for the merit based HOPE Scholarship would exhaust its reserve fund in 2 years. Governor Nathan Deal wants to be the one to save the popular program and cut it by 280 million dollars.
The state has collected millions of dollars over the years in fees that aren’t going toward their original purpose. Local officials say if lawmakers continue to divert fees to other purposed they shouldn’t pass any more of them.
Governor Elect Nathan Deal did not have specifics when he spoke to lawmakers in Athens Tuesday, but he hinted at a few issues that will get his attention. Lawmakers know that come January they will be faced with balancing a budget that is more than one billion dollars short in a state that has almost 10 percent unemployment.