To the editor,
In the coming session of the State Legislature, Rep. Mark Burkhalter will once again introduce a resolution to split-up Fulton County by forming Milton County in North Fulton. The Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation opposes such a resolution for the following reasons:
1. The division of Fulton County would devastate the remaining Fulton County by reducing its revenues by $193 million, the sum now paid in taxes to Fulton County by property owners in North Fulton.
2. 64.9 percent of the Fulton County General Fund is either fixed-in cost or mandated by the State of Georgia, i.e., the Courts and Courts–Related services, $199.2 million; the contribution to Grady Hospital, $92 million; the Health and Human Services, $71.1 million; Fulton County Sheriff, $93.4 million; etc. In the event of a division, taxes in the remaining Fulton County could escalate as much as 30 to 40 percent to make up for the shortfall.
3. The resolution calls for a vote by only the residents of North Fulton, violating the Federal Voting Act of 1965. Furthermore, Article 9, Section 1, Paragraph 11C of the Georgia Constitution requires that all citizens in a county vote on the decision to divide a county. The resolution attempts to remove this constitutional protection and thus disenfranchises all citizens living south of the proposed Milton County border.
4. During the last five years, Fulton County has vastly improved its services, i.e., under Chief Judge Doris Downs, the Superior Courts are far more economical and efficient; under John Szabo, the Fulton County Libraries are ranked “one of the best;” under Burt Manning, the Board of Assessors is highly respected; under Dr. Stephen Kitkowsky, the Fulton County Health Department is ranked “among the best in United States.”
If the City of Atlanta is “the hub” of the region, the City of Atlanta would be adversely impacted with an exodus of businesses and residents.
John S. Sherman, president
Fulton County Taxpayers’ Foundation