Brookhaven Hearings Begin Today

The House Governmental Affairs Committee will be holding the first of two or three hearings on House Bill 636, the Brookhaven city charter, today at 2:00 p.m. You can watch it online by clicking this link.

Click here to read the bill that will be considered in the Governmental Affairs Committee. This is a substitute bill that has a few differences from the bill that is currently posted on the House website.

I have asked the Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVI) at the University of Georgia to double check, triple check, and quadruple check the millage cap that is contained in HB 636 to ensure that it provides all homeowners a property tax cut, even if the city needs to use the full millage cap, which is highly unlikely.

The millage cap that CVI recommended is 3.35 mills, which is contained in the bill.

The millage cap is a mechanism that prevents city property taxes from going higher than a certain rate without approval by the citizens in a public referendum. It is a benefit that does not exist in unincorporated DeKalb County.

Remember that cityhood does not add property taxes to your tax bill. Instead, it shifts two of the existing county line items to the city, enabling us to keep those resources here at home.

Click here to review a supplemental report prepared by CVI that reconciles the new millage cap with the Brookhaven feasibility study (click for link) that was released in November 2011.

The supplemental report projects a surplus of $261,348 in excess of the proposed city’s estimated expenditures. This is very similar to the CVI projected surplus for the City of Dunwoody, which was $278,789. Dunwoody was able to reduce its actual expenditures by an additional $1.75 million in its first year of operations, bringing its surplus to more than $2 million.

Finally, click here to view the final map that will be presented to the House Governmental Affairs Committee. Compared to the previous version, this map includes four additional parcels east of Clairmont Road and north of West Hardee Avenue, across the street from Ashford Park and including the 57th Fighter Group Restaurant.

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