Dunwoody City Council members discussed June 20 how a question asking voters for money to purchase parks should appear on November’s ballot.
Voters will have the chance to vote “yes” or “no” on the bond issue to acquire more green space for the city.
Council members debated the wording of the referendum drafted by City Attorney Brian Anderson.
Several City Council members questioned listing $44.22 million as the amount to be raised by the bond. Instead, they said the ballot language should say taxes would rise by 0.75 mills.
“It has to be specified as a dollar amount,” Anderson said. “That is the equivalent of if you put a 0.75 millage on and you have a 2 percent growth in the [tax] digest every year for 30 years. It’s purely a mathematical equation.”
Councilman Doug Thompson said that figure seemed too high.
“My thought is we may need to scale back the millage to get us closer to the $33 million range,” he said.
One mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of the taxable value of a property.
At the council’s last meeting, Mayor Ken Wright suggested that the council move forward with a 0.75 mill bond to acquire property for parks. He said that would raise about $33 million over the life of the bond. He suggested holding a second bond referendum in the future to raise money to develop the properties.
Council members agreed that they do not feel comfortable assuming there will be any growth in the tax digest and asked that Anderson recalculate the dollar figure in the referendum.
“I would encourage us to be much more conservative,” said Councilman Robert Wittenstein.
Anderson will revise the bond referendum based on the discussion and bring it back before the council in the future.