Property Tax and Comp Plan and Stormwater (Oh My!)
Johns Creek City Council is set to hold their Executive Meeting and City Council Meeting on Monday August 18, 2018. Several topics on the agendas hold key importance.
Property Tax Millage Rate
Review and approval of the 2018 millage rate for Johns Creek is set to be finalized. There are three options under consideration.
Johns Creek has already advertised a proposed millage rate of 0.003870 that under Georgia rules is NOT considered a tax increase, although it does in fact result in a slight increase for homes with an average increase in reassessed value.
A second option has been proposed at 0.003842. This modified rollback rate would mathematically eliminate the increase in overall taxes for existing properties due to reassessments. Any growth (e.g., adding an addition to your home) would increase the overall expected tax revenue.
The third option is proposed at 0.003637. This rate would remove the effects of growth from overall property taxes and would be expected to keep city tax revenue equal to the previous year.
After the unabashed tax windfall grab by Fulton County, and the ongoing lack of effective budget management in Johns Creek, we should all carefully watch this process to see where our city's elected officials stand on the millage rate issue.
Comprehensive Plan Draft Review
The Comprehensive Plan Draft is entering its final review before being sent to the Atlanta Regional Commission and the State of Georgia Department of Community Affairs. This document will guide the ongoing development of our community going forward, and will become a foundation for a review and update of many of our codes and ordinances around development and zoning.
Of special note in the latest version are updates that have changed the designation of descriptions around property owned by the Atlanta Athletic Club (Heisman Field) that have also removed the recommendation that the city should consider acquisition of that land should it become available for use as a public park. These changes effectively increase the possibility that this property will be developed for single family housing at a density of up to one unit per acre sometime in the future.
The current draft can be found here.
Having experienced more rainfall than usual during the Spring and Summer seasons, the results of years of rapid development and increases in impervious surface area have become increasingly apparent. Stormwater has caused damage in the form of erosion, silt build-up in lakes and ponds, and dangerous roadway hazards. Johns Creek resident Tom Corrigan has worked tirelessly and made it his personal mission to raise the profile of this issue in our community. Perhaps he has made some much needed progress.
The Agenda Report prepared by city staff for our Mayor and City Council documents a prioritization of objectives. In the section for Community Development Projects, a Stormwater Management Program is highlighted as being considered mandatory or non-optional for the success of the city. Likewise, Stormwater Improvement Projects are highlighted as being considered mandatory within the Public Works section.
Mr. Corrigan has researched and presented many options to our elected officials, urging them to take real action to manage our growing stormwater problem. Yet despite identifying stormwater management as a mandatory, non-optional focus area, we continue to create more impervious surface area to exacerbate an acknowledged problem. Not only are we pouring more concrete, but we're celebrating that fact.
It's time to get serious about controlling and managing an increasingly costly problem, and implementing real, common-sense, and affordable solutions.