PTC to decide on millage rate increase

Council now split between .5 or 1.25 mill hike on property taxes

Thursday night at 6:45 p.m., the Peachtree City Council is slated to host a public hearing on increasing the millage rate by as much as 1.25 mills.

But it is not yet clear if there are three votes among the five council members to enact that increase, or a lower one of .5 mills that has also been discussed. So far, council has been at an impasse on the discussion.

Councilwomen Kim Learnard and Vanessa Fleisch have supported the 1.25 mill increase which would result in a $108 a year increase on a home valued at $272,000.
Mayor Don Haddix and Councilman Doug Sturbaum have said they prefer a more austere .5 mill increase which would result in a $43 a year increase on that same $272,000 home.

And so far Councilman Eric Imker, the swing vote, has refused to take a firm stand on which millage rate increase he supports. In fact, in council’s last discussion on the matter, Imker said he would oppose any millage rate increase.

Furthermore, Haddix and Sturbaum have said they will vote against any budget that does not include an increase in funding for the Development Authority of Peachtree City at $150,000, up from the authority’s current $30,000 in annual funding.

Haddix and Sturbaum contend DAPC needs its own staffer to help recruit business and industry. But Learnard and Fleisch have said they would rather that duty be handled by a newly-created position on city staff instead so there can be more control on results.

Haddix has contended that city staff legally cannot offer tax incentives to corporations that are necessary to secure new jobs for the city.

The city has published its public advertisement with a millage rate increase of up to 1.25 mills, since that is the ceiling that has been reached in council discussions, said Finance Director Paul Salvatore. Had the city only advertised a .5 mill increase and council ultimately voted for the 1.25 increase instead, the advertisements would need to be run again, Salvatore explained.

The millage rate typically has to be adopted by the first of August but this year the date has been extended to early September. That will allow the tax commissioner time to levy the taxes on bills that go out later in the year.

grassroots
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Imker Stand your Ground

Unless Don Haddix explains ANY JUSTIFICATION for tax increase then he's a Democrat. Don , you did not respond to my invitation to explain property tax explained to by Fayette Daily News( 19%) and your discrepancy. Please explain all the double talk why we should have to pay any property tax increase when we were promised our taxes would be lowered after E-SPLOST? OR, go down in defeat with NO TAX increase!!We will be there so better have an answer!! NO TAX INCREASE IS EXCEPTABLE!!

Spyglass
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No more cuts in service

are acceptable to me. I can handle a tax increase.

Mike King
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Spyglass

I'll settle for the higher of the two increases as I understand it addresses the city debt. Further, over perhaps five years our town can rid itself of repaying bonds, etc that previous Councils imposed needed or not. I'm still convinced that more can be done to reduce payroll.

That said, what services have you noticed being cut?

Spyglass
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Service cuts I've noticed..

Landscaping for sure. It's better this year, but 2 years ago the amount of dead trees along and on the cart paths after a storm would have never been allowed to stay. The path along Lake Peachtree looks bad with all the dead limbs etc.

Grass on the secondary roads has been let go for sure. I have also seen less attention given to the garbage cans on the cart paths/parks etc. Library has shorter hoursm too. That's just off the top of my head. I have frequent visitors and they notice it too, especially the lack of attention to detail on the landscaping, etc.

Mike King
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Thanks, Spyglass

I agree on the outside maintenance as that was where the cuts were made in order to contract and presumably save $800K.

Now that I'm retired, I'll pay more attention to the paths.

Spyglass
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I've been riding the paths much more

the last 4 months or so on my Bike (my BP is WAY down!). It's very noticeable in many areas. I still love it here, but I don't want to see the City continue to make cuts in areas. I was NOT in favor of letting the 23 Workers go, and came on these boards in favor of doing whatever it took to keep them.

OK, I'm stepping off the soap box.

Courthouserules
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Mike K

Is it my understanding that the city spends $800,000 less now for employees than they did before the outsourcing of trimming?
Is there any such thing as accumulation accounts in city accounting to substantiate such savings? That would be double-entry accounting! May be too complicated and require 10-15 accountants.

Courthouserules
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spy

Might I suggest that the town manager supply small scissors and rakes to the 10 junior city hall employees and on days where they are really hurting for something productive to do they put on their coveralls and go manicure the road sdes. Same salary, don't cut that!

Courthouserules
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Spy

Current tax rates should support this city!
I am for no tax increase and no cuts in service!
Demand harder work.

dar thompson
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R U

serious...people are leaving because of a $6.00 to $8.00 per month millage increase? Our city taxes are some of the lowest in the state. Might want to re-evaluate your information source.

Courthouserules
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Dar

I'm thinking that you have never been asked the question:
If a man was carrying all the feathers that he could carry, could he, in an emergency, carry just one more to save a life?

Also, if a person (like Oprah) had lost 50-100 pounds in the gym and with a special cook and a watcher, 6-8 times over maybe 10-12 years, could she loose it one more time for a million dollars pay-off?
There must be a dozen fat dames on TV right now who made millions off weight watching. etc., and they are starting again to draw in the suckers!

Now I'm, of course, not speaking of your gyms full of f.. d....

BenAthar
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If either millage get

If either millage get approved, then you will be seeing more home go up for sale. Many are already leaving because of the economy and the high price of living here. Even those that can afford it, but it's eating up their savings to keep living here. Yet the millage keeps getting more and more. The whole county is losing it citizens as fast as water through a screen. It's not a good trend.

borntorun
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Tax Incentives

Haddix is quoted in this article as saying "that city staff legally cannot offer tax incentives to corporations that are necessary to secure new jobs for the city."

Well, technically neither can DAPC. Whether it's DAPC or a city staff person, any tax incentives would have to be voted on and approved by council so that's a non-argument for the DAPC increase which I do support by the way.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Partially Correct

Some incentives require Council vote and some are completely controlled by DAPC. None by Staff.

But even the ones by Council require Development Authority initiation.

Ninja Guy
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Haddix: Name That Law

Mr. Mayor, is that state law or city law? Can you provide us with the state statute oity code that requires tax incentives to be initiated by DA? Thanks!

inkslinger
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Councilman Imker

looks like the ball is in your court here. I just know you have a surprise up you sleeve. Some previously unknown facts or figures you will spring on everyone.

Would you and Mayor Haddix PUHLEASE just tone down the animosity and get this process over with? If not, the two women councilors are going to lock you in a room together till one of you cries uncle. They are then going to go out for a ladies night out. And Councilman Sturbaum is going to stand on the other side of the door and referee from afar and pop Maalox tablets. And he will call the 2 women to come back when you two are done.

We all get that everyone is trying to do the right thing. And we appreciate all of Council's efforts.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Surprise

How about a 3-2 approving the 1.25 with no DAPC funding?

inkslinger
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Surprise, NO

disappointment, absolutely. I'll reserve my comments on the rest till after Thursday.