It is a shame more citizens have not heard about Amendment 2, which will allow Georgia to enter into multiyear leases. The State Properties Commission estimates taxpayers will save $66 million over 10 years, with potential future savings.
When we think about government spending, big-ticket items come to mind like education and transportation. But routine items, like leased office space for government workers, add up.
Currently, taxpayers pay higher rates than “market” renters because Georgia is prohibited from signing multiyear leases. If Amendment 2 is approved, long-term leases can be executed for office space rather than expensive one-year leases. If government workers stay in existing buildings for lower rental rates, it’s real savings for taxpayers.
The state currently stays in leased office space for an average of 10.7 years. Passing this amendment will not extend occupancy. Instead, it will lower the amount paid for currently leased space.
We do this in our own lives. With today’s low interest rates, many are refinancing and saving hundreds on their mortgages. They live in the same house, with less out-of-pocket costs and greater savings. This type of cost-savings would happen for taxpayers if Amendment 2 passes.
This is a safe and fiscally sound approach has worked in other states. Georgia is one of only two states with an AAA bond rating that require single-year leases.
Voting yes for Amendment 2 simply makes sense. And state leaders across the aisle agree, which is why this bill passed with near unanimous support in the General Assembly. It is not only a way to save millions of taxpayer dollars; it is an investment in Georgia’s future.
Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, R-Gainesville