Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

May 15, 2013

Tax commissioner’s SUV costs taxpayers $39,000

ATLANTA — Records show that a Georgia tax commissioner used public funds to buy a full-sized SUV for his own use.

The 2013 Ford Explorer Limited used by Fulton County Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand cost taxpayers $39,000, according to a report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( ).

The newspaper reported that residents in the metro Atlanta county are funding Ferdinand’s daily commute to work, including gasoline. The purchase came to light when county commissioners raised questions about a routine take-home vehicle report.

Ferdinand did not respond to the Journal-Constitution’s phone messages or questions emailed to him Monday.

Ferdinand has been the focus of criticism in the past, some of it related to an annual income that exceeds that of Gov. Nathan Deal and approaches the pay for President Barack Obama.

A key factor behind his earnings is a charge of $1 per parcel in fees for doing the tax billing for Atlanta, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs — a practice state legislators have tried to halt. Ferdinand’s opponents say he is pocketing money for services done with county staff and equipment.

Criticism has intensified with the revelation of Ferdinand’s latest auto purchase.

“Greed is the only word I can think of,” Midtown resident Carol Brantley said. “Most people realize that Fulton County and all governments are struggling with their budgets and looking for ways to cut expenses, not ways to increase their personal incomes at the expense of taxpayers.”

But Commissioner Tom Lowe, a Republican who represents a portion of north Fulton, defended Ferdinand, a Democrat, as “a high-ranking department head” who “makes more money for the county than anybody else.”

“If he wants a car,” Lowe said, “I don’t give a damn whether it’s a go-kart or a Cadillac.”

Chairman John Eaves said Ferdinand has not explained to commissioners why he needs the SUV and it’s questionable whether it allows him to do a better job.

Eaves said Ferdinand should consider reassigning the SUV to an employee or department that can make better use of it.

“Given the budgetary constraints and the public’s expectations that we be as thrifty as possible,” Eaves said, “to me, this is an unnecessary expense.”

Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

Text Only
Top News
  • Lake Park considers millage rate increase

    Lake Park has tentatively adopted a millage rate which will result in a 29.64 percent increase in property taxes.

    July 28, 2014

  • Free Health Fair slated for August 9th

    A free health fair hosted by the 100 Black Men of Brooks-Grady-and-Thomas Counties, Inc. and sponsored by Archbold Hospital will take place on August 9th  from 8:00am until 12 noon.

    July 28, 2014

  • BtpsXVpIgAEXKB-.jpg Manhunt underway for drivers of stolen dump truck

    This morning, around 8:00 deputies from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop a dump truck traveling south on I-75.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingston’s loss means less clout for Ga.

    For two decades, Rep. Jack Kingston was a congressman who routinely crushed his opponents on election night — winning a new term every other year with vote totals between 63 and 77 percent.

    July 28, 2014

  • IMG_3745.jpeg Gas leak on West Adair

    A gas leak has occured on West Adair Street, between Tombs and Oak Street. The leak began just after 11 a.m.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • salmonella 2 copy.jpg Trial nears for suspects in salmonella case

    Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georgia.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP4507280123 copy.jpg Today in History for Monday, July 28, 2014
    Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commercial driver training program expanding

    Department of Driver Services (DDS) Commissioner Rob Mikell announced recently an expansion of the commercial driver training program administered by the Agency’s Regulatory Compliance Division. DDS will now offer a Commercial Driver License (CDL) Instructor Training Class for customers who have applied to be CDL instructors. The session will provide additional guidance as the applicants prepare for the final exam.

    July 28, 2014

  • Tentative deal reached on VA reform

    The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans’ health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 27, 2014

  • Heat advisory for much of South Georgia

    A heat advisory is in place for much of South Georgia until 7 p.m.

    July 27, 2014

Top News

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results