The following are my answers that I provided to the MDJ questionnaire.

Name: Don Parsons

Party: Republican

Office sought:  Reelection to Georgia House of Representatives, State Representative House District 44

Age: seventy-three (73)

Family: spouse; children: Married to Jo Lynn for forty-seven (47) years, two (2) daughters, six (6) grandchildren

Education: Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Education

Residence: 3167 Sycamore Lane, Marietta

Birthplace: Charleston, West Virginia (WVa)

Have you held office before: twenty-five (25) years, Georgia House of Representatives

In 200 words or less: 

1. Do you believe the senior school tax exemption should be changed? Why?


No, I do not believe it should be changed. First of all, the exemption only applies to the education portion of Cobb County property tax. Seniors pay sales tax which funds the much larger portion of K-12 education. Therefore, seniors continue to pay for education, and have paid through taxes and service to the community in many ways over many years. The exemption was ratified as a Local Constitutional Amendment. Therefore, it needs to be understood that, in order to repeal the exemption, the Georgia Constitution requires that it be approved by a two-thirds roll-call vote in both chambers of the General Assembly, as well as a majority vote in a referendum in Cobb County. It cannot be repealed by local legislation. See Article VII, Section II, Paragraph IV of the Constitution of Georgia. Voters need to be very wary of those who advocate for the repeal of the senior school tax exemption, for if those advocates wish to pick out and raise taxes for a group of citizens as dedicated to the community as senior citizens, then we must consider where their slippery slope would certainly lead. I believe in less taxes and not more.

2. What is your solution to traffic congestion in Cobb County?


Cobb County is large, both geographically and in population. The transportation needs and requirements for various areas of the county and various segments of the population vary significantly. The growing populations of Bartow and Cherokee Counties as well as other counties even further north continue to impact commuter traffic in Cobb, especially during rush hours. Mass transportation has merits in some situations. We see it work in Europe and other places. However, mass transportation is not suited for most of Cobb County. For most of the county, the problem is that to get to where mass transit might conceivably pick up/drop off, a commuter must have a way to get there, which can be a long distance in itself. I have been pleased with the Express Lanes that have been built as a result of the transportation funding legislation I supported. There is no doubt that they have relieved congestion considerably. A well designed and well publicized transportation plan which allows those in specific areas of the county to decide if they, in those areas, wish to be taxed for improvements as allowed in the Regional Transit legislation of 2018, if executed by the county is the key to improvement.

3. How are you different from your opponent?


I have been active in the community and have the experience of twenty-five years in the legislature, ten of which were in the Republican minority before the century and a half rule of the Democrat Party was ended by the people of Georgia in 2004. Since then, I have served fifteen years in the Republican majority chairing major committees. Throughout my ten years in the minority when Democrats controlled the legislature, I consistently fought them for fiscal responsibility and transparency in our state budget. I can honestly say that government in Georgia was much less open, less transparent and less efficient in the years the Democrats ran the state. It is baffling that anyone would want a return to that. I have a proven record of cutting taxes, improving access to healthcare, funding K-12 education, fiscal responsibility, improving law enforcement and addressing infant mortality, among many other initiatives. I am very happy to have voted for the Hate Crimes legislation, not only this year but also in 2019. I am also very happy to have supported and voted for my friend, Rep. Bill Hitchen’s House Bill 838 that provides protections for law enforcement and all first responders.

NOTE: My reponses, as available above, are provided exactly as I provided them to the
newspaper from my computer, and therefore do not violate any copywright laws.