Change Cherokee County, GA Code #9.4-4, to include EQUINE ACTIVITIES

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We are requesting all farm owners and horse lovers in Cherokee County, GA to sign the following petition. Additionally, we are inviting all local equestrian businesses and horse enthusiasts to participate as well.

If you are unaware….

IN CHEROKEE COUNTY, IF YOU OPERATE A BUSINESS OF BOARDING HORSES, GIVING RIDING LESSONS, HORSE CAMPS, ETC. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A BUSINESS LICENSE (OCCUPATION TAX CERTIFICATE). IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE, YOU MAY BE FINED AND PENALIZED AND THE COUNTY COULD FORCE YOU TO CEASE OPERATIONS UNTIL YOU DO.

Cherokee County is suddenly requiring “horse activities” at all farms to have a “COMMERCIAL BUSINESS LICENSE” (occupation tax certificate) versus a “HOME OCCUPATION BUSINESS LICENSE”.  Previously, home-based businesses were able to choose between a home occupation or a commercial tax certificate (aka business license).  Georgia State Agricultural Department shows 95 registered horse farms in Cherokee County. Cherokee County Search Portal only shows 26 farms with county business licenses, the requirements to obtain a Commercial Business License are much more demanding and costly than a Home Occupation License. The County is trying to exploit small businesses and trick them into obtaining a Commercial Tax Certificate so that their growth numbers look more agreeable and the County qualifies for more state aid. Increases in property values mean more taxes for the County if stables/farms had to sell their land to developers for more residential subdivisions.

If stables change from Home Occupation to Commercial Business License the property needs to meet all and current ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance as well as fire marshal safety requirements. If your property is in Conservation Use (CUVA), changing from Home Occupation to Commercial License may violate CUVA and there would be severe tax consequences.

The County is literally trying to get rid of the agricultural aspect of Cherokee County and forcing stables/farms out of business.

I would like to make you aware of this ordinance #9.4-4 Outdoor instructional services for swimming, outdoor instructional services for tennis. Other outdoor instructional services shall be permitted with the approval by the planning commission. Once we believe we have enough signatures and significant support from our community we plan on getting on the docket at one of the monthly county commissioners meetings and request that the commissioners add “horse activities” to #9.4-4 and that our horse farms be treated the same as the swimming and tennis facilities.  

Please help stop Cherokee County from subjecting horse farms owners to this unusually high level of government intrusion.  Cherokee County is either trying to eliminate horse farms and/or subject horse farm owners to a higher tax burden to increase the county’s revenue. 

By adding your name to the petition, you can help convince local commissioners to change ordnance #9.4-4 and save our farms and stables. Please sign now to help!



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