Inside City Hall: Atlanta to receive $400 million from Fulton County tax deal

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

A weekly roundup of the most important things you need to know about Atlanta City Hall.

Atlanta will receive $400 million in additional funding over the next decade thanks to a new tax revenue agreement with Fulton County, according to Mayor Andre Dickens.

Georgia law allows local governments to collect Local Option Sales Taxes (LOST) to offset property taxes. Every 10 years, counties and cities negotiate how the funds will be divided for the next decade.

The Fulton Board of Commissioners asked the representatives of the county’s 15 cities to increase the county’s share this year to urgently fund the needs among county courts, jails, and public health services. The 15 city mayors opposed Fulton’s proposal and said last month the deal would require cuts to public services and/or property tax increases.

Credit: Adrianne Murchison

Credit: Adrianne Murchison

Prolonged negotiations were a problem because there was a Dec. 30 deadline to reach an agreement, or else the tax would expire altogether.

Well, our colleague Adrianne Murchison reported last week that the municipalities are now planning to increase Fulton’s share from 4.98% to 12.5% over the next decade. She reported that Fulton is now expecting a share of $383 million over 10 years, compared to $191 million from the previous agreement.

In Atlanta, about 18% of the city’s general fund revenues come from LOST. It enables the city to reduce property taxes, and the funds support police, fire, EMS, road construction, recreational programs and community events. Dickens said Atlanta will have additional flexibility to meet residents’ needs under the new agreement.

”Thanks to the strong partnership among all 15 Mayors, we were able to reach a deal with Fulton County that meets our cities’ needs while also providing additional funding for the county to fulfill their important responsibilities,” Dickens said in a statement. “While we represent diverse cities with diverse needs, mayors were able to speak with one voice on behalf of all the residents we serve.”

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Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

It’s committee week for the City Council, so newly introduced legislation will be up for consideration.

Some measures we’re watching: An ordinance to amend the city’s code to make several updates related to ordinance administration, tree planting and protection, and use of tree trust funds.

Additionally, City Council member Liliana Bakhtiari sponsored a resolution to urge all housing developments with city subsidies or incentives to recognize house choice vouchers as fungible income to qualified participants. This would open quality affordable housing options across Atlanta to very low-income families, the elderly, and disabled, according to the council’s office.

“At a time when rents are soaring, inflation is ballooning, and a fragile tenant support system is on the brink, we should be opening doors to responsible renters, not shutting them out,” Bakhtiari said.

The resolution is slated to go before the council’s Finance/Executive Committee on Wednesday after its consideration at Tuesday’s Community Development and Human Services Committee meeting. The measure already has majority support from the council, so we expect it’ll pass at next Monday’s full council meeting, and then onto the mayor’s desk for authorization.

Plus, a resolution authorizing Dickens and the chief of corrections to enter into temporary re-employment agreements with retired corrections officers for services in Atlanta’s Corrections Department. The contract would be renewed annually for no more than four years, and it would be offered to former city officers with the rank of captain and below.

Send us tips and feedback at Wilborn.Nobles@ajc.com.