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PTC tax survey due Monday

If you were one of the 1,200 lucky households to get an invitation to a survey on Peachtree City services and property taxes, time is running out to respond.

The deadline for responses is Monday, Feb. 25, so those who were invited are strongly encouraged to jump online to have their say as soon as possible. The survey invitation was mailed in an envelope with red lettering on the outside in an attempt to catch the attention of city residents and encourage them to open it.

The survey was authored by a committee of residents who have been studying city spending on various services and the associated impact on property taxes.

The city’s Needs Assessment Committee crafted detail into the survey so residents could have a dollar figure for how much it costs the average home in city taxes for police, fire, recreation and public works services.

The committee is hoping for at least 400 surveys to be filled out to get a statistically valid sampling with an error of plus/minus 5 percent. If even more residents fill out the survey, the results will be even more reliable, committee members have said.

Reliability is crucial for the group as they are hoping to present the survey results to council at a budget workshop in March so the data can be used to help shape the upcoming budget talks for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Several of the survey questions provide an actual dollar figure of what each department costs in property taxes for the average home, currently valued at $243,000. Armed with that information, it should be easy for residents to determine if they feel the city is spending too much, just enough or not enough for services such as police, fire, recreation and public works.

The survey also asks about whether the city should hire more police officers or firefighters, and also whether it should build any new fire stations. Another question asks if citizens could stomach paying additional property taxes to implement about $10 million in cart path connectivity projects, and how much they might be willing to pay.

Because the survey will be administered online, it will be relatively easy to tabulate the results.

Although Mayor Don Haddix formally created the committee, it has been noted that all of the committee members were volunteers except for one: John Dufresne, who has openly challenged many of Haddix’s ideas and queries. Haddix has let the committee make all its own decisions, occasionally making suggestions along the way but giving the committee full reign to make its own judgment calls on a variety of issues.

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