|Mayor suggests city not
money's worth from county
City residents are not getting out of the county
budget what they put into it at least
that's the way some city officials see it.
topic came up at last week's city budget hearing,
where Mayor Bob Lenox said that a gap of about
$2.5 million per year exists between what city
residents pay in county taxes and the services
comments are similar to Tyrone Councilman Ronnie
Cannon's remarks last month. Cannon complained
that Tyrone's residents also are receiving less
than their share of county services.
equal to a fire station with all the equipment
each year, he said. That's a
community center a year.
matter came out of a discussion of establishing a
city policy for handling requests from nonprofit
organization that seek funding.
Jim Pace said he believes countywide
organizations should get their funding at the
example cited in the discussion was Beautiful
Fayette, which was reportedly requesting $25,000
from Fayette County and $16,000 or so from the
city. That amounts to city residents paying
twice, according to some city officials.
said that the unequal return in county services
flies directly in the face of House Bill 489,
which he stated requires the appropriate amount
of services rendered for revenue received.
told The Citizen in an interview this week that
these comments were the result of a great deal of
study and research into city and county budget
and tax figures.
particular issue was not covered in recent HB 489
discussions, and he hopes to bring it up again
sometime in the future.
worked through the HB 489 stuff to meet the
[state-imposed] deadline, he said.
But we put off most of the harder
he added that HB 489 is essentially a continuous
process, and the city is continuing to study the
issue and hopefully find a way to cut into the
two main goals of HB 489, as the mayor sees it,
are to foster overall economy, and make
sure whoever pays for services gets those
first glance, it could appear that the issue of
taxes and services is a simple one of dollars and
are essentially two sides, said Lenox.
Revenue and expense.
while the revenue the county receives from
Peachtree City residents is fairly cut and dried,
how much is gotten back in the form of county
services can be a bit more of a gray area, with
room for discussion and even some haggling over
figures, Lenox admits.
are obviously some judgment calls, and that's the
area where we've got to talk about it, he
said that in his analysis of these figures, he
has tried to give the county the benefit of the
doubt in every instance, so that if there is an
error, he believes it would be in the county's
even if his $2.5 million figure were off by as
much as $1 million in the other direction,
that's a lot of money, he said.