Augusta Tax Commissioner Press Release Contains Bible Verse

Commission To Vote On Downtown Safety Plan (Image 1)

     Has an Augusta city department crossed the line of church and state?

 That is a question some are asking after Augusta's Tax Commissioner sent a press release to announce the cancellation of a Sheriff's tax sale that was originally scheduled for next week.

 But the bottom of the release contains a Bible verse. 

Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick acknowledged the release came from his office, but he had no other comment.

  We wanted to know if people feel the verse was a violation of the so-called separation of church and state. 

“It could be seen as that by some and it probably is if the people he represents don't care let him do it that's why they elected him,” said Reginald Gibson. 

 “It usually means people who are paid by the state cannot use their public office to promote their faith,” says Laura Quaynor a professor of Education at USC Aiken, and an Augusta resident.

And Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick is paid for by the taxpayers.

“That would mean it probably shouldn't be on his work e-mail,” said Quaynor.

The release was put out by Shawn Tolbert the offices Operations Manager.

We asked the city Law Department if the bible verse on the press release violated any city policy. 

Lawyer Wayne Brown said it would be reviewed.

Last year The Mayors Office stopped organizing prayer breakfasts after an out of town group challenged the practice as a violation of the separation of church and state/

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