Fri, April 19, 2024

Mondays with Rick: The JBA Vote!

Editor’s Note:
Dr. Rick Franza, has a unique perspective on tomorrow’s bond referendum that would raise taxes on homeowners and business owners in Richmond County.

He’s unsure if his employer, a Georgia State School will be exempt. He’s just moved to Richmond County and will face about a $30 a month increase in his property taxes. He also watches local developments in business as the dean of AU’s Hull College of Business.

Dr. Rick Franza, Dean of AU’s Hull College of Business
ABD: Rick, let’s start with you. Are you okay with swallowing $300-400 a year in extra property taxes?

Rick: I’m never happy about paying more taxes, but I don’t think this is bad. I realize even someone with a smaller home may have it worse and I’m sensitive to that. I look at this as an investment. This is a quality of life issue. We basically have a dinosaur of a civic center compared to other cities like Chattanooga and Greenville.

ABD: How do you feel it will help our labor crunch with a state of the art arena?


Rick: We’ll have more Uber and Lyft drivers, more people working in the service and hospitality industries like at hotels and restaurants. More short term construction workers and long-term support for events. It will increase our tax base and people from outside of the CSRA will generate taxes from ticket sales and hotel and motel taxes.

Dr. Franza says a new JBA will help ease our labor crunch
Courtesy: Augusta Tomorrow

We’d also generate more business for other companies due to bigger conventions, concerts and games.

ABD: What about recruiting through our Economic Development channels?

Rick: We’ll attract larger companies who want to recruit executives and a capable workforce to work for them. Simply put, a state of the art auditorium will be more attractive for people to live here and just easier to recruit talent. If we don’t have that sized auditorium (11,000 plus seats) it will put us out of the running (to recruit companies) in some instances.

ABD: A digital newspaper put out its editorial over the weekend and the headline ran. “Timing of New Arena All Wrong”. Rick, basically they are saying, “Not now.”

 Rick: If not now, when? I don’t see the cost of construction going down. I look at this as an investment in our community. It’s fair because it will benefit people in different ways— quality of life, more work for employees and a better labor pool for new employers who want an attractive place to live for their staff.

Subscribe to our eNewsletter for the BEST local business news delivered to your Inbox each week day.

* indicates required


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Posts

$8 million business expansion announced

A tenant in Columbia County’s White Oak Business Park is expanding its production line to include a street-legal, utility vehicle. Governor Brian Kemp participated in