A metro Atlanta legislator has prefiled a bill that could lead to the creation of what would become Georgia’s 10th largest city.
State Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, prefiled Senate Bill 324 Thursday to let voters decide whether to create the new municipality of Buckhead City.
The new city would carve about 25 square miles out of Atlanta’s current city limits, about 18% of the city’s land area. It would also include about 20% of the city’s population and cost the city of Atlanta more than $250 million in property, sales and lodging taxes, as well as business license revenues.
Beach’s prefiling means the bill will come up during next year’s regular legislative session. Lawmakers are currently meeting in special session to redraw the state’s legislative and congressional boundaries in accordance with new U.S. Census data.
“Since the summer of 2020, the rise in crime throughout the city of Atlanta has been alarming and has caused many citizens to feel for their safety, even in broad daylight,” said Beach. “Over the past few weeks, we have heard testimony first-hand from Buckhead residents who feel their needs are not currently being addressed and what the proposed incorporation would entail.
“Now is the time for citizens in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta to have the ability to determine for themselves whether to form their own city and establish services which would be more responsive to their needs.”
Last month, the House Study Committee on Annexation and Cityhood and the House Governmental Affairs Committee heard testimony from several officials about how a city of Buckhead would impact Atlanta and the state.
Also last month, several Democratic members of the city of Atlanta’s legislative delegation urged Buckhead City supporters to pump the brakes on the proposal.
Bill White, CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, said the new municipality would not financially devastate Atlanta.
“Buckhead City would keep less than 10% of the city of Atlanta’s annual budget, while reducing Atlanta’s population obligations by 20%,” White said.