Rep. Terry England

News Enterprise reporter Chelsea Cariker contributed research for this profile of Rep. Terry England (R-Auburn), chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.  The profile appeared on Atlanta Unfiltered on Feb. 25. 2013.

Terry England, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, had to close his Winder-based farm supply business in 2012 but still owed the Georgia Development Authority the better part of $575,000 borrowed to consolidate debts in 2009. The property was rezoned in February 2013 to allow a church to operate there under a lease-purchase arrangement that will cover payments on the debt.

Farmers and agribusinesses are not required to pay off loans from the authority if they’re no longer in business.
“The way [the authority’s] charter is set up, they can do that,” England said. “As long as they’re getting paid from that point forward, they’re happy with that.”

The authority, a quasi-governmental agency chaired by the state agriculture commissioner, makes loans from a revolving fund to help expand farming and agribusiness in Georgia. It is self-supporting and receives no state appropriations.

England has achieved the enviable goal of paying virtually no property taxes on his Barrow County residence. He and his wife live in a 14- by 80-foot mobile home next door to his parents’ three-bedroom home. That qualifies him for a homestead exemption that, combined with a conservation use assessment, reduced the 2012 tax bill on the 11-acre parcel to $1.25. (England also paid an $18 stormwater fee last year but, as any Georgia legislator can tell you, a fee isn’t [continue reading]


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