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Fulton Opposes Attempt to Freeze or Lower Property Taxes

Commissioner Liz Hausmann said she was in favor of legislation by Alpharetta, Milton and Johns Creek lawmakers that also would redraw commission district lines that would add another North Fulton member.

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to oppose temporarily capping the county's property tax millage rate, doubling the homestead exemption rate and giving North Fulton more representation on the commisson.

Liz Hausmann is the only commissioner who solely represents North Fulton. Commissioner Tom Lowe's district extends from Roswell south until it's well inside the perimeter.

Hausmann, the District 3 commissioner and Johns Creek resident, voted against the resolution.

"I am in favor of the proposed new commission districts as it brings additional representation to North Fulton that is long overdue, and complies with the important concept of one man one vote," said Hausmann, the District 3 Commissioner. "I also think the legislation that provides for an increase in the homestead exemption includes an important component in allowing a vote by the citizens of Fulton County to either approve or reject the increase."

Joint Meeting Thursday, Feb. 7
Fulton County House and Senate delegations
State Capitol, Room 403, noon-1p.m.

A news release sent out with the resolution, sponsored by Chairman John Eaves, Vice-Chair Emma I. Darnell, and Commissioners William “Bill” Edwards, Joan P. Garner and Robert “Robb” Pitts, listed concerns with all three pieces of legislation. Eaves and Pitts are "at-large" commissioners. The resolution identified what commissioners said would be negative effects on:

  1. The ability of Fulton County government to continue to provide essential services to its citizens;
  2. The voting rights of Fulton County citizens; and
  3. The right of Fulton County employees to be free from arbitrary treatment and disciplinary actions.

Additionally, the news release said House Bill (HB) 170 would have a significant economic impact on Fulton County government's revenue because of the combination of the homestead exemption doubling to $60,000 and the cap on the General Fund millage rate. 

The release says what HB 171 would do, but not how that would be negative other than to say voting rights would be affected. The commissioners said the legislation seeks to change the current commission district lines for the Commission by increasing district seats, changing district lines and eliminating a second at-large seat. This bill would increase the number of district commission seats and eliminate the second at-large seat that currently exists. It also establishes staggered terms for Fulton County Commissioners.

The final bit of legislation proposed, HB 172, would expose county employees to the potential for arbitrary treatment by making changes to Fulton County's civil service system for employees, the release said.

G. Glaser February 07, 2013 at 07:19 PM
True repesentation is sorely missing in this North Fulton part of the county. Our taxes are used (misused) as they are directed to downtown and South Fulton. And with the Commissioners stacked from the south, it is evident that North Fulton can never be represented truly. This area of NORTH FULTON should go back to being Milton county or become its own county--there is a big enough population to do just that! That is just being fair.

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