Slave descendants who own island property off the Georgia coast are fighting whopping tax increases that they say threatens one of the last Gullah-Geechee communities in the South. The taxpayers come from a tiny community of about 50 called Hog Hammock on Sapelo Island, about 60 miles south of Savannah.
Sapelo Island residents say a proposed hike in the island's ferry fee is insult to injury after steep rises in other fees recently. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is proposing raising the one dollar one way fee on the only way on and off the island.
State officials are considering raising the fees for some riders on the ferry connecting the Georgia mainland with Sapelo Island. Officials say the increase is being considered partly to address increased operational costs.
Brunswick city officials are getting tired of paying to raise sunken and abandoned shrimp boats. Two years after paying about $70,000 to raise a derelict trawler at the city dock, last month another one sank. Taxpayers end up footing the bill when shrimpers can't maintain their boats and can't insure or sell them.
Archaeologists have discovered the site of the original lightkeeper's house on Georgia's Sapelo Island. The building housed generations of lightkeepers and their families starting in 1820 until its collapse in a hurricane in 1898. The location of the sand-covered ruins hadn't been known for almost a hundred years.