ad

67 Comments

  1. 1

    ScaredToBeLeftBehindWhereYouBelong

    This sounds so scary. DeKalb County/DeKalb Strong is in fear of losing more revenue. Good for them. Then again, it is so shallow of a scare it is almost hilly.

  2. 2

    Toff

    A bad idea for a whole host of reasons but I think the geography of the combined areas is awful and Chamblee would lose its downtown identity (albeit still growing).

  3. 3

    Blackbird 13

    Chamblee residents don’t get to vote on this, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have a say. The council is answerable to residents, and if enough tell them this is terrible idea, they will shut it down or at least ask for a feasibility study.

  4. 4

    Concerned Citizen

    I am scared of being swept into what I consider to be a hastily hatched ill-conceived plan to annex my home.
    I am scared of being governed by a Mayor that has approached a legislator stating his full support before asking his current residents for their input.
    I am scared of any legislator that supports moving this proposal forward at this pace without a valid study and valid input from both the proposed new residents and the current residents of Chamblee.

  5. 5

    ScaredToBeLeftBehindWhereYouBelong

    A feasibility study of DeKalb County should be performed as well; What does the future hold for DeKalb County if reform is not possible?

    This is something that should have been done a long time ago.

  6. 6

    Toff

    Meeting is tonight @ 6.30 at Civic Centre

  7. 7

    Yuppie Pundit

    This makes a lot of sense for both Chamblee, a growing city, and parts of the LaVista Hills map that can pull 60% “yes” vote needed for annexation. Further it excludes the strongest “no” cityhood voters and allows them to reunite with their fellow unincorporated peers in Medlock Park to discuss Blueprints and Study Groups to improve the county.

  8. 8

    Chamblee Old Timer

    From Concerned Citizen:
    “I am scared of being governed by a Mayor that has approached a legislator stating his full support before asking his current residents for their input.”

    AMEN to that, who knows what Clarkson has up his sleeve and we don’t even get a say in it by law since we are the current residents.

  9. 9

    Eric Robert

    I agree. If this were to happen they should change the name of Chamblee to Lakeside since most of the people and most of the land will be in the original Lakeside proposal.

  10. 10

    Alicia

    I can’t wait to see the numbers the City of Chamblee reveals tonight. See everyone there! (I hope room is left for the actual residents of Chamblee.)

  11. 11

    behind the curtain

    You might be surprised to know, it’s not the mayor that decides things in Chamblee, it’s the city manager. And he answers to no one!

  12. 12

    RAJ

    More anti cityhood/annexation drivel from a baseball statistician. Same song and dance from Russell about EVERY new city or annexation. One real test of feasibility is a data driven program used by the County to evaluate financial impact of annexations/cityhood on the County that was not provided to Chamblee as requested. And we wonder why people want some of their services provided by a more responsive government.

  13. 13

    New here

    The biggest benefit would be police services. Right now Chamblee has 11 police officers for the 12.5 sq miles. Dekalb PD has about 2 officers for that entire area to on the annex map. Ever wonder why it takes 20 minutes to get a police officer? South Dekalb has more crime and in turn gets more officers to take care of that crime.

  14. 14

    RAJ

    At the meeting last night it WAS pointed out that Chamblee has a 3 minute public safety response time vs a average 22 minute response time for unincorporated DeKalb. It’s no wonder people feel much safer being in cities in DeKald!

  15. 15

    Russell Carleton

    Would there be enough money to maintain that response time?

  16. 16

    Russell Carleton

    If you have data, please do feel free to present them. I will gladly consider any new information of its own merit.

  17. 17

    whoDean

    ^^^Spreading FUD

  18. 18

    japarks

    SO are you scared that you will call the police and they don’t come, are you scared that your property value will continue to shrink while the taxes rise, that the roads in your area continue to deteriorate ….. My advice, spend less time worrying and more time looking for options to approve. The Mayor of Chamblee, nor any executive can do their job if they have to hold a referendum before they meet with any individual or group, that is nothing to be scared of. The Mayor, if his support is as you say, sees the potential upside for Chamblee in the area that could be annexed. The potential for this area is massive, and greatly outweigh the downside in other parts of Chamblee. In essence the Mayor can expand the tax base to better support Greater Chamblee, spur new development in the corridor connecting the new area to the current boundary, expands his green space, while, by economies of scale, potentially decreasing cost per resident. The residents (like yourself) gain access to a municipal government which has an interest in acting in your interests, has a stake in working to insure the roads are repaired, the water lines are maintained (Chamblee would not directly control these), the police are responsive, and that Chamblee continues to be an city of growth and prosperity. You do not have that in the unincorporated Dekalb.

  19. 19

    Ted Gordon

    The Chamblee mayor who favors annexation could get voted out in place of a supporter of the newly annexed area. According to a quote from above is that the area under consideration has a population of 34,755, and the current population of Chamblee is 29,231.

    This is a real “Careful of what you ask for because you might just get it” situation. Ironic. I can see why the area would want to be annexed but not why Chamblee would want to annex them. This looks more like a takeover than annexation.

  20. 20

    Toff

    No, I am scared of a mayor and council that hastily arranges a meeting with no factual data that will affect the lives of 50-60,000 people based upon a jovial Facebook post between friends. This came together in 2 weeks, did not involve Chamblee residents and is likely going to rushed into the legislature that has 23 days left to run in a 40 day term.
    If its such a good idea why dont the parties get together, do the feasibility study and come back to citizens with a well thought out plan?
    Like Brookhaven, its comedy hour down at the council.

  21. 21

    enuff govt already

    If you got that info from Chamblee, it’s false. Comparing apples to oranges. Chamblee runs only 2 shifts and the county runs 4 for a 24 hour cycle. Works out with the county having more officers available. The 20 minute thing is also a fabrication and so is the Chamblee 3 minute response. It’s a script concocted by consultants. The consults say you can only win an election if you scare the populace and defame the police. Brookhaven is experiencing higher crime now as opposed to when they were unincorporated.

  22. 22

    Toff

    I think its a given that Clarkson would get voted out in an expanded city. Not only would you have the incoming constituents voting for their flag bearer (Mary-assuming she would stand or put in a proxy) but existing residents would come out to reflect their displeasure with this unneeded move.

  23. 23

    New City Fever

    You don’t know how right you are. There are a whole lot of people over here just waiting to jump in at the appropriate time for their own financial and political gain. Just wait until they try to rename the city and relocate city hall.

  24. 24

    Yuppie Pundit

    Russell it doesn’t matter on $. If the people voting, those potentially getting annexed, think the move to Chamblee will improve police times vs the status quo then they will vote YES.

  25. 25

    Eddie E.

    ‘fud’ Isn’t that the same BS you used to help kick Brokehaven into life?

  26. 26

    RAJ

    Not with baseball math! Doraville, with an Army reserve General in charge has a 2 minute response time.

  27. 27

    RAJ

    STILL think this improves overall governance for everyone, especially from what I heard in the County Finance Audit and Budget Committee meeting yesterday afternoon. Larry Johnson, some other Commissioners, and Zac Williams County COO are considering differential city/unincorporated rates for services like Water&Sewer and Sanitation. Don’t know how much control city residents would have over this proposal!

  28. 28

    RAJ

    Talked with Lee May yesterday morning and the County will provide the data to Chamblee if requested,;wireless phone service is not good between Chamblee and the County Administration!

  29. 29

    Eddie E.

    Then maybe a Doraville annexation is the appropriate course.

  30. 30

    Flubber

    Sorry, but existing Chamblee residents disagree strongly with all of your viewpoints. We are strongly and vehemently encouraging our Council members to reject this proposal!

  31. 31

    Sitaspell

    Hahahaha! People who became residents of Chamblee via annexation (that would be 2/3 of the population) voting whether they want to let more people in via annexation. How hypocritical would a “no” vote be?

  32. 32

    Don

    Since the tax assessments are all public record, easily found in the Dekalb Tax Assessor website, can the author point me towards pairs of comparably assessed houses both within Chamblee and within the proposed annex area, that clearly illustrate that the Chamblee residents are paying higher taxes.

  33. 33

    Russell Carleton

    Sure. Here are the publicly available millage rates, with which you can calculate the property tax bill for a house valued at any amount. http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/TaxCommissioner/PDF/Millage.pdf

    The services in question are under the police and “special services” lines of the chart. For 2015, the county’s millage rate for those services was 6.14. Chamblee replaces this with a city tax with a millage rate of 6.4.

    Using our $300,000 house in the county system, you start by taking 40 percent of the value ($120,000). The county allows a flat $10,000 homestead exemption to homeowners, so the final taxable value is $110,000. Apply the county’s millage rate (multiply by .00614) and you get $675.40. However, because those are county taxes, you get HOST credits that in 2015 wiped out 44 percent of the tax liability (so, subtract 44 percent or $297.18) and you get $378.22 in final tax liability.

    In Chamblee, you start again by taking 40 percent of the house’s value (again, $120,000). The city allows a flat $30,000 homestead exemption, so subtract that ($90,000 in taxable value), and apply the city’s millage (multiply by .0064) and you get $576 even. HOST credits do not apply to the city portion of your tax bill, so the final tax bill is $576.

    You can do these calculations with any house value you choose. The process is the same. Additionally, Chamblee provides its own solid waste services (garbage trucks) that the county provides in the unincorporated area. Both governments charge a flat $265 fee for the service.

    For what it’s worth, higher taxes aren’t always a bad thing. As I mentioned in the article, Chamblee residents pay more, but you could certainly argue that they get more.

  34. 34

    Don

    I’ve examined some Chamblee property bills and for one of them all of the city portion was covered under homestead, and for the other around a third of it was covered under it. I see what you’re saying–but I’m having trouble finding two similarly assessed properties that illustrate a substantial difference. The column I see on the bill that covers it (for some people) is ‘const-hmst exemption’. Or maybe you can elaborate on what this column is. It’s to the left of the ‘host credit’ column (thus it’s not ‘host credit’) but it does seem to keep the in the city taxes very similar to out of city taxes.

    I also notice that your analysis does not account of economies of scale, and assumes that all resources must be acquired and funded at the exact same per capita level in order to maintain the same level of service, which is highly questionable.

  35. 35

    Don

    I had to google the ‘const-hmst exemption’, and found this article, “Next, when this charter legislation was drafted we realized that individual homesteads would no longer get the HOST credit on the City Taxes portion of their bill (again line 1 under 2009 State and City Taxes).
    Therefore, we gave each individual homestead a 1 mil credit under CONST – HMST Exemption (again line 1 under 2009 State and City Taxes) to offset almost all of this lost credit. The number you see on your bill is a consolidation of the 1 mil credit and any other applicable constitutional exemptions.”

    Why is this left out of your analysis??

  36. 36

    Russell Carleton

    Don, the way that Dekalb property tax bills are laid out a bit confusingly. If you read a Dekalb tax bill left to right, they first start with the taxable assessed value before the exemptions are taken out. That gets you the Gross Tax Amount. They then subtract the value of the various exemptions and tax credits that one could theoretically get.

    CONST-HMST is actually the $30,000 flat homestead exemption that I mentioned. You’ll notice that on every Chamblee tax bill, for city taxes, the value of that exemption is $192.00 (for people who have a homestead exemption.) This is $30,000 — the flat amount per house that Chamblee allows to be exempted from taxation — times the millage (.0064). In my post above, I suggested taking the exemption out of the assessed value prior to applying the millage. They take out the value of the exemption after the tax bill has been calculated. The two methods produce mathematically equal results.

    As to economies of scale, let’s look to Chamblee’s own history. In 2013, Chamblee annexed the Dresden East area (and after some legal wrangling, Century Center), which multiplied its population by 175 percent. In their 2013 budget (before the annexation, which took effect on 12/30/13), city expenses were $14,336,866.

    In 2014, the city explicitly stated that because of the then-uncertain status of Century Center, city departments should be very conservative in their budget requests, and expenditures were $20,679,326. In 2015, the city had prevailed in lower courts on the Century Center issue and thus felt more at liberty to complete its hiring. City expenditures rose to $25,011,945.

    What’s fascinating is that $25,011,945 divided by $14,336,866 is 1.74. The city’s population increased by 175 percent. The budget increased by 174 percent right along with it to cope with the new residents. So, last time that they did this, it seems that they did not get any appreciable economies of scale. It seems questionable that this time would be different.

  37. 37

    Bill Lowe

    I want you to compare only the Gross Tax Amount in the following property tax records–which are my own–because people get weak at the knees when public information is disclosed. The reason gross amount is used is because it is before any Host exemptions and other frozen crap and other variables. It shows your taxes before all of the discounts and tax relief.

    The first record is from 2011 before annexation. Notice this includes Sanitation from Dekalb($265.00), and Street Light fees($32.00).

    http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/TaxCommissioner/TaxBills/2011/1/1408547.pdf

    The second record is from 2015. For whatever reason it does not include Sanitation. I think because Chamblee took over sanitation earlier than expected, or DeKalb just left it off the property tax bills for a year. Street Lights are included within the regular city taxes portion of the bill.

    http://taxcommissioner.dekalbcountyga.gov/TaxCommissioner/TaxBills/2015/1/1408547.pdf

    Just to be fair, we will add in $265.00 because the sanitation is probably missing for one reason or another. Maybe my math is off, but it seems like I am indeed paying more per year to live in Chamblee for better services. $9.13. Can I borrow a knife or something from someone, cause I just don’t think I will survive this massive cost of living increase.

    The 2011 property tax example is not a perfect comparable example because the county valued the house at $203,040 and in 2015 it was valued at $201,100. I guess the point is: math is hard, and a $10.00 increase before any exemptions or other crap is well worth it for services received. This does not include franchise fees, but if you want to add in $3.00 a month for those, or $36.00 a year, that is probably fair. Year over year I have not noticed a significant increase in the bills. This is a lower priced piece of property in this example so there is a sliding scale apparently as value goes up, although looking at some @$300,000.00 appraised properties pay is not that significant of an increase.

    Fear is a much more expensive thing, and well, quite unnecessary.

  38. 38

    Russell Carleton

    There are cities that do allow a 1 mill exemption from their city property taxes. Dunwoody, for example, allows this. Chamblee does not. The standard homestead exemption is a flat $30,000. This page has all the details: http://chambleega.com/index.aspx?nid=172

  39. 39

    Don

    Thanks for response, I’ll study it a bit more. So far, when I pull up pdf tax bills of similarly valued houses, it seems to be a wash: those in Chamblee pay city taxes, which are partially relieved by the Host, but they pay nearly nothing for county police. I’m unable to find a substantial difference. In some cases, the entire Chamblee city tax is exempted (maybe for senior citizens?).

  40. 40

    Russell Carleton

    Bill, while your property was valued similarly in 2011 and 2015, you’ll notice that your tax bill for 2015 contained multiple exemptions for a tax freeze (that everyone benefitted from) and the savings were entirely on the county portion of your tax bill. Basically, the county gave you a tax break that offset a good chunk of the increase in taxes for Chamblee’s services.

    In 2011, you paid $17.21 for the unincorporated tax district and $228.43 to the police line, plus $265 for sanitation, a total of $510.64.

    For those same services from Chamblee in 2015, you paid $322.82 in city taxes plus the $265 sanitation charge, for a total of $587.82, an increase of 77.18, or 15 percent more than you paid in 2011.

    You may prefer Chamblee’s services and think that the extra money is worth it for what you get. I wouldn’t begrudge anyone their opinion on that trade-off. But the services are more expensive.

  41. 41

    Toff

    Your analysis is correct sir. Chamblee tax portion is significantly more expensive. They will go even higher if they combine with LVH.

  42. 42

    Russell Carleton

    Chamblee exempts seniors (over 65) from city taxes.

    For those in the unincorporated county, you want to pay attention to the Police and Unincorporated District lines. In Chamblee, those lines are largely deleted from the tax bill at the county level, because Chamblee provides those services. There’s the apples-to-apples comparison that you’re looking for. (Chamblee provides sanitation services as well, though the county and city both charge the same fee for that.)

  43. 43

    Bill Lowe

    Only look at the GROSS TAX AMOUNT. All those wonderful exemptions are to be ignored. Just to get closer to a comparable example.

    You are welcome to explain why the gross amount is so much higher than 2011.

  44. 44

    Russell Carleton

    Bill, the gross tax amount specifically doesn’t include HOST credits, which you got as a resident of Unincorporated Dekalb, but did not as a resident of Chamblee. One of the tax consequences of annexation or incorporation is that you specifically give up the ability to use HOST credits on the city portion of the property tax bill. Using gross tax as a method of comparison assumes that isn’t the case.

  45. 45

    Bill Lowe

    Exactly. Consider them rental properties with no exemptions or anything. Full tax= Gross tax amount. Now compare away!

  46. 46

    Russell Carleton

    That’s fine if you’re doing a side-by-side for someone who owns a rental property, but the great majority of property tax payers are people who own their home, live in it, and therefore can claim a homestead exemption. The differences between the two governments in their end tax liabilities are rather large once you factor those differing homestead exemption/HOST credits in.

  47. 47

    Bill Lowe

    Well, for the DECA area that does have a lot of rental properties, this is a good thing to compare, if only for them and no one else.

    Looking at a known rental house in 2011 their DeKalb County property tax bill was $3026.46.
    Looking at the same rental house with $7k less in appraised value in 2015, their bill was $2987.56.(I added in $265.00 for sanitation and even $32.00 for street lights even though it is not needed. I even added in a little extra $45.00 for that $7k shortfall in appraised value between the two.)

    Neither of these tax bills have any exemptions, host credits, or frozen exemptions. Maybe it is the default $30,000.00 exemption from Chamblee that makes the 2015 appear better than it actually is. Maybe it is DeKalb County rearranging the millage rates for some line items.

  48. 48

    Rodney.

    Also keep in mind that county tax freeze is not permanent. It exists at the pleasure of the General Assembly and must be renewed every few years. Like him or not, we all have Fran Millar to thank for the current extension. He had to fight damn hard to make it happen. It almost didn’t.

  49. 49

    Russell Carleton

    For rental properties and commercial properties, the tax rates are about even. As you point out, they don’t get any sort of exemptions at all (HOST, homestead exemption). They just get taxed at whatever the millage rate is. In 2015, that was 6.4 for Chamblee and 6.14 for the county. I suppose that might be relevant to DECA, but the proposed annexation area is largely folks who live in their own homes.

  50. 50

    Don

    can you point me to some online pdf tax bills that confirm your statement?? So far, I’m unable to confirm it. First, it’s unclear to me exactly which line items constitute the $378. Second, I’m not seeing it taken into account that Chamblee residents do not pay UNIC Taxdist. Thus, it looks like there is some cherrypicking of lineitems to create an assertion that for some subset of services there’s a big tax increase (oh nooooes!) but the offsetting items that are not paid by city residents are being ignored.

    For similarly assessed properties the property taxes are approximately the same, based on my random sampling of tax bills.

  51. 51

    Don

    After examining tax bills, I’m still unable to verify this tax increase, as the portions that the city residents do NOT pay negate the increase in a few lineitems that they DO pay. This portion of the doomsday scenario has no foundation in reality.

    Thus, all we’re left with is: will the city collapse under economic strain if annexation occurs? I agree that this merits addressing, but don’t think we can assume such a collapse will occur.

    It’s rather odd that the same folks that were so anti self-rule for the LVH a few weeks ago are so devoted to calculating how this solidly middle to upper middle class area will just cause doom and destitution under all additional scenarios…

  52. 52

    Russell Carleton

    Don, you are correct that Chamblee residents don’t pay UNIC Taxdist. If a property is moved from unincorporated to Chamblee, it would stop paying that line and the police line. These would be replaced with the Chamblee city tax. The calculations I showed above included both UNIC and police. The combined millage for those two in 2015 was 6.14.

  53. 53

    OneTuckerToRuleThemAll

    The puppeteers controlling DeKalb Strong decided it would be unwise for a bunch of white people and a few semi-brown people to interfere with a couple of majority black new cities; Stonecrest and Greenhaven in South DeKalb County. That would not go over very well with either the politicians or their financiers.

  54. 54

    Russell Carleton

    Don, the implications of going from unincorporated to incorporated for a tax bill (at least in this case) are that residents in the affected area would stop paying the unincorporated services line and the police line to the county. The county uses these revenue lines to cover costs related to roads, parks, and obviously, policing. Those lines are replaced by Chamblee city taxes, because Chamblee provides these services on their own. Also, the flat fee ($265) for sanitation services shifts from the county to Chamblee, although because it’s the same amount, it’s a wash. We have all the information we need to calculate both the Chamblee city and the county portion of those bills.

    There are other things that can affect a tax bill, especially if you are looking across years. There’s been a homestead valuation freeze that was in effect for a few years and then expired. But I’d suggest that the most fair apples-to-apples comparison is to look at the changes that would happen specifically because of incorporation.

    But I think you’ve hit on the more important question. The evidence from the past annexation shows that Chamblee did not gain much in economy of scale and that costs rose proportionally with the new population. The city currently spends $30ish million per year and would more than double in size. The area that they propose to annex is less than half of a tax base that was projected to be able to generate $36.6 million on its own. That’s a mis-match and not in a good way. Back of the envelope math says that annexation would mean $30ish million in new expenses (assuming that they waned to maintain the same service levels) and $20ish million in new revenues. If the back of the envelope is wrong by a million this way or that way, we’re still talking about a multi-million dollar gap.

  55. 55

    Don

    My latest study seemed to show that if annexed, a homeowner would net out paying another .00079 millage (seems that Chamblee residents do pay just a bit for county police).

    And it looks like assorted assessment freezes seemed to make it all a wash.

    I concur that you’ve found a per capita analysis that indicates a gap. What we don’t know, without rooting very deep into the Chamblee website, is if some of the expenses are for big purchases that don’t necessarily need to be done again with this annexation (i.e. IT systems, waste hauling related purchases, etc).

    Without a doubt, an official should explain the finances and why it projects to be ok (if it projects to be ok). The per capita analysis is a good quick and dirty, and if it’s not accurate it would be good for someone with finance/budgeting to explain what *is* accurate.

  56. 56

    Russell Carleton

    Don, your number appears to simply be adding the relevant millages. A millage rate is not the same thing as a final tax bill. You have to consider the homestead exemption in each place ($30k in Chamblee, $10k in Dekalb) and the relevant HOST credit (44% for Dekalb, none for Chamblee).

    The lion’s share of major capital expenses in the any start-up or annexation come from the police department, because it’s the most equipment-driven city service . To maintain the same citizen to officer ratio, you need new officers, who need new police cars and radios and equipment. They also need office space and desks to do their work.

    Funny enough, this is where scale starts to work against you. If this were a situation where we were talking about folding in 500 new residents and adding one officer as a result, you could make the case that they probably have a spare desk somewhere and because cities replace police equipment all the time on a rotating basis (if you have 35 cars, you purchase/lease 7 new ones each year and therefore, they are are on a 5 year replacement schedule), you might be able to find one car that can be pushed a few more years, so that there’s an extra one available.

    In this case, because citizen to police ratio is a particularly important feature of city services for a lot of people, by definition, the size of the department would have to increase proportionally to the population, in this case, more than doubling. You’d probably need a new building (rented or new construction) to handle that much capacity, to say nothing of the fact that you’d need to create a centralized police presence in the annexation area, probably by Northlake Mall.

    I’m happy to look at what numbers they come up with, but I’m having trouble seeing a realistic set of assumptions that gets them even close.

  57. 57

    Don

    I added and subtracted out the relevant millages involved. And I realize that it’s not the final bill. I still haven’t found a pair that showed a significant increase for the Chamblee resident. Like I said: click on the tax assessor maps, find pairs that are similar (in and out of chamblee) and the taxes will be very close to the same.

    Why assume that Chamblee needs to keep the same police/citizen ratio if the annexed areas have fewer crimes (per day/week/capita, etc) than the existing areas? I’d wager that maintaining the current ratio would be tremendous overkill for the ‘sleepy’ residential that comprises much of the annexed area.

  58. 58

    Flubber

    Amen, brother!

  59. 59

    Flubber

    We’ll write down this observation that you don’t want the same police protection and give you what Dekalb County already provides you…having lived in LVH I can tell you that it is almost NO police protection. Also we’ll reduce your trash collection to once every two weeks and charge you a higher millage than existing Chamblee residents because of all the additional infrastructure that your area brings with it.

  60. 60

    Emilia

    Minimally we will have to build a new police station, double equipment, and double staff. That new police station isn’t free.

    In addition, there is not enough information about infrastructure in LVH that will need repair. But we do know it needs repair, as DeKalb as we know has not done a bang up job. How much will it cost to repair the dams on all those manmade lakes in LVH, for example?

    In addition, the LVH residents want parks. Understandably. But they don’t just have parks that need rehab, as we do (cf. Keswick). No, to provide parks we will have to pay big bucks to acquire land. Land in LVH is not cheap. Where is this money going to come from without a tax increase?

    Providing some other services could be phased in, as occured in the annexation of part of Huntley Hills. We still had DeKalb sanitation for quite a while, for example. So that at least could be planned for and spread out a bit.

    But someone is going to have to come up with numbers that don’t just work off current figures, but projections of expected expenses before I believe our taxes will not go up.

    There is the additional question of where revenue will be spent if this annexation proceeds. Frankly I question whether the LVH folks will be willing to shell out their tax dollars to rejuvenate our downtown. . They barely know where it is, having turned up at one meeting. Geography indicates they won’t be coming here just because a city limit changes, unless they are here on city business.

    And they will have more representation. So look to funding to go to their parks, and not our downtown.

  61. 61

    Emilia

    My neighborhood was split, some in Chamblee and some not. It was an accident of history as city limits were established when my neighborhood was a farm.

    For most of the 20 years I have lived here, we have been in the unincorporated area and not in Chamblee.

    And those of us in this area acted as if we were in Chamblee. We participate in Chamblee events, do service projects in Chamblee with Chamblee organizations, etc.

    So, Sitaspell, how many of you folks in LVH have done that? Have you turned up at the stream cleanups or Keep Chamblee Beautiful? Gone to any city events lately?

    How many of you can even drive through downtown without getting turned around and end up in Doraville?

    I used to live in LVH. No one from there has much reason to come here. You’re not connected culturally in any way.

    These other areas that were annexed do have a connection.

    Oh and you might want to get up to speed on Georgia law.

    The entire point is LVH people WOULD get a vote on annexation.

    We will not.

    Yes, indeedy, we can watch our city make a huge mistake biting off more than it can chew, and have not a thing to say about it.

    But you will have a say.

    How very democratic to deny a say to the actual residents of a city, and give it solely to outsiders.

    And that say is denied us because one of you is a “friend” of our mayor, and our city council lost it’s mind, apparently.

    And you’re in a rush to barge your way in uninvited.

    If you do this the wrong way, people here will always view you with distrust.

    Did you want to hitch yourself to a city at war with itselfl? Or do you not really give a crap as long as you get “serviced”?

  62. 62

    Flubber

    I would hope that any “feasibility” consideration that is made not only “doesn’t make existing Chamblee residents’ taxes go up”, but that it would provide a HUGE tax reduction (somewhere on the order of less than 50% of today’s Chamblee taxes) for existing Chamblee residents. Also infrastructure assessments that would apply only to new Chamblee residents for 5-10 years to pay for their infrastructure (we’ve already paid for ours). Our taxes didn’t go down with the two previous annexations…that is unacceptable!

  63. 63

    Flubber

    After this debacle it’s likely that Clarkson will be kicked out of office during the next election, regardless of whether the annexation goes through. A lot of people are completely disenchanted with him and are especially pissed at the way he’s handled this (particularly his lack of disregard for how Chamblee residents feel about this.

  64. 64

    Save Tucker!

    Great job, Carleton! And this is part of the problem we’ve noticed with Tucker. From the updated feasibility report, “… the proposed city of Tucker should expect annual revenue of approximately $10.6 million and annual expenditures of approximately $9.8 million. This analysis suggests that the proposed city will generate a surplus of approximately $800,000, which may be used to provide additional contingency funds, reduce the millage rate, or expand the level of expenditures.”

    Tucker has an estimated 35,136 residents and 20 square miles of service area.

    We’re taking in just enough for zoning, code enforcement and parks!? So, the ONLY way we can ever improve our area will be to find a way to generate more in taxes, or take on more commercial, which LVH, with the help of Chamblee would like to deny us.

    Also, in our report, “The revenue from the various sources depends on the tax rate or fee structure. For some of the revenue sources included in this analysis, the city of Tucker will have no say as to what the rates are. For other taxes and fees, we assumed the rates will be the same as those that DeKalb County is currently imposing.”

    We have already heard that assuming the fees for services from DeKalb will be the same is the wrong way to go about estimating expenses. In many cases, the county will charge more than what we pay currently.

    In a nutshell, we’re screwed.

  65. 65

    smile...

    The county has senior deductions also! You can go online and look up senior exemptions around all of Atlanta areas cities and counties. This is not exclusive to Chamblee, in fact other areas start exemptions earlier, like 62.

  66. 66

    Save Tucker!

    Where could we go to calculate the difference between city vs. unincorporated county for franchise fees? Tucker calculates: $2,536,313 in franchise fees. In comparison, $408,865 comes from property tax.

  67. 67

    harry

    Not complete info . 11 Officers – 2 shifts – overlapping that are 6 Officers 10 am – 6 pm . They do Code/C.O.P.S. , etc.
    Also Traffic Team overlaps . And on a call in this ‘Hood an Investigator was the first to show up & quickly .
    Brookhaven started with 53 Officers , not enough . They now have 69 . They were told long before the election that they needed 80 !!!

Comments are closed.