Michael King stood on the steps of Guyton’s City Hall holding his youngest daughter, Braya, in his arms while he announced his candidacy for the County Commission seat for District 2. He cited rising tax burdens, property tax assessments, and communications problems as reasons he decided to run.
King, who had served on Rincon’s city council 10 years ago, “before House Bill 489,” said he has the experience and leadership that will be necessary to solve many of the problems facing the county and the various municipalities.
“We’ve experienced a lot of growth over the last several years,” he said, “and we’re still experiencing a little bit now. But the pace has slowed down. Right now, we’ve gone into a very uncertain time with our economy. Everybody’s budgets are having to tighten up. I think that now it’s more important than ever to have the right type of leadership at the county level, and I believe I can provide that type of leadership that we need.”
King said he would like to see the county do a better job of diversifying its tax base by increasing industrial development and bringing in more businesses.
“That’s something we haven’t done a real good job on is marketing our county and promoting a business-friendly environment for folks wanting to do business here,” he said.
He said the county loses a lot of sales tax revenue to Chatham County as people go out of the county to shop, to eat and to play.
King also discussed the overall tax assessments on property values in the county. “Everybody that lives in the county has seen their assessments go up,” he said, “and I know it’s a necessary thing — we all pay taxes and do our part, but the assessment process is supposed to be based on uniformity of value and on fair market value and there are a lot of instances in this county where that’s not the case.”
King grew up in Effingham County and raised his kids here. He said he would like the county to look at some of these issues and find ways to spread the tax burden and make this a great place to live.
“I think sometimes we lose sight of the citizens of the municipalities are also citizens of the county,” he added. “They deserve the same type of treatment, and I think our county leaders lose sight of that sometimes.”
King also said he hoped his previous experience with city government would help him and the county commission to improve communications.
“I served on city council about 10 years ago in Rincon, and there were challenges then with communications,” he said. “I think that’s something that kind of gives me a little advantage. I know most of those people, and I can kind of understand where the cities are coming from. I think that would be a huge asset with the county commissioners, because none of them that are up there now have ever served a municipality.
“There’s only limited resources out there and we’ve all got to do our part. And I want to do that; I want to be a team-builder. I think that now it’s more important than ever to have the right type of leadership at the county level and I believe I can provide that type of leadership that we need.”