Taste of Chamblee & Garden Tour

May 29, 2008

Special thanks to the Chamblee Area Business & Professional Coalition for passing this along:

Don’t miss the Taste of Chamblee & Garden Tour on Saturday, May 31!

The garden tour is from 9:00am-3:00pm in the Huntley Hills neighborhood. Tickets can be purchased for $10 in advance at the Ashe-Simpson Garden Center or on Saturday at 3747 Longview Drive.

The Taste of Chamblee street festival is in front of Chamblee City Hall at 5468 Peachtree Road. There will be a variety of restaurants offering sample sizes of their food, ranging from authentic Chinese to pizza, BBQ, hand-made chocolates, ice cream, smoothies & more! You can purchase 8 tickets for $10 which can be exchanged for one food sample each (additional tickets will be $1.50). In addition to the restaurants there will be a beer garden and several performers. Starting off the festival is a steel drum percussion quintet and ending it is a bluesy-rock group called Misconduct. In the midst of the festival, you’ll catch a mariachi band, samba dancers, a fencing demonstration and even a Chinese lion dance! Finally there is a silent auction raising money for Special Olympics Georgia. Here you can make a bid to win a spectacular bottle of Cristal Champagne, a handmade Persian rug, a set of antique skis, among many other items. The festival lasts from 4:00pm – 8:00pm. Last bid for the silent auction is at 7:00pm.

Parking: There will be several lots available for parking near the festival. Heading towards City Hall from Chamblee-Tucker, parking will be at the new Chamblee public parking lot next door to the MARTA station. (It is a former MARTA lot). On Broad Street, there will be parking at the Chamblee Civic Center, Police Station, Post Office, and IDP’s parking lot.

Environmental Leadership Award

May 29, 2008

Last week, I was honored to receive an Environmental Leadership Award from the Georgia Conservation Voters. I have received this award every year I’ve served you in the General Assembly: 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. The award is given to legislators who work toward preserving Georgia’s natural heritage, improving our air and water quality, and easing traffic congestion through solutions such as transit and telecommuting.

Property Assessment Appeal Deadline

May 11, 2008

It’s that time of the year again.  Spring has sprung.  Every car bears a coat of yellow pollen.  And the DeKalb County Board of Tax Assessors has sent out property assessment change notices.

Not everyone received a property assessment change this year.  However, for those of us who have been reassessed, the increases are quite shocking.  Several constituents have e-mailed me about their reassessment notices.  Here’s an example:  “I just received a notice from DeKalb County with a $70,000 property assessment increase!!!  I filed the form to freeze the value last year and was told that it had been received.  Was the law repealed?  What happened?  Please help ASAP!”

Evan and I received a $44,300 assessment increase this year, which is 15% of the assessed value of our home on Granger Drive.

The headlines tell a different story.  “Atlanta home prices fall 4.8 percent” in 2007, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  “Atlanta home values drop sharply since last summer,” says Creative Loafing.

These artificial, unjustifiable assessment increases are the county government’s and school system’s way of increasing your property taxes without actually holding a public vote of the county commission or school board to increase your property taxes.  They are back-door tax increases.  Worse yet, it doesn’t matter how the real estate market is doing, which is outrageous.

The first step toward fighting back was passing the county property tax assessment freeze back in 2006, which freezes your property assessment for the purposes of calculating the county government’s portion of your property tax bill.  I am proud to have actively supported this measure.  Without my help in passing the property tax assessment freeze, it would not have happened.  The property tax assessment freeze only affects the approximately 25% of property taxes that are levied for use by the county government, which explains why the county continues to increase property assessments year after year.

Another important thing you can do to fight back is to exercise your right to appeal your reassessment.  That is the purpose of this message, to remind you about this right.  You can find information on how to appeal your property assessment increase on the DeKalb County Property Appraisal Department’s website (click for link).  Your letter of appeal must be postmarked no later than this Monday, May 12.


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