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Three Gold Dome Bills Dunwoody Homeowners Should Be Concerned About

The Georgia legislative session begins today, January 13, 2020.

Within the wide range of bills being promoted are three that, if passed, will take large bites out of Dunwoody's budget and force taxes to be raised on Dunwoody homeowners.

HB 411

Sponsored by:  Brett Harrell (House District 106 - Snellville)

This bill would require that all services paid with local taxes be billed individually.  In Dunwoody, that would mean that water, sewer, sanitation - county services, etc would all require separate bills to be mailed to each homeowner.
It sounds innocuous but according to past Fianancial Director Chris Pike, the administration and printing and mailing costs would result in an additional $350,000 cost to the City of Dunwoody per year.   

HB 244

Sponsored by: Mary Margaret Oliver (House District 82 - Decatur)

This bill has been through several sessions and was stopped year after year by past Dunwoody legislators.
This bill will tax incorporated cities in DeKalb county in order to pay for county police administrative costs that did not downsize when cities provided their own police departments.  If passed, this bill will cost the City of Dunwoody $2.5M every year for 30 years.  
According to past State Rep Tom Taylor, this bill is intended to be punitive toward recently-incorporated cities in DeKalb County and to discourage further municipal incorporation.  Taylor says he learned this in a first-hand conversation with State Rep Oliver.


Sponsored by: Vance Smith (House District 133 - Columbus)

This bill is designed to restrict local governments (including cities) from enacting any zoning codes or ordinances that provide guidelines or boundaries on the construction of single-family homes and duplexes.
Dunwoody was incorporated for the very purpose of taking control of our own zoning so that locally-elected officials would make decisions close to home that they themselves would have to live with.
If passed, this bill would nullify comprehensive plans developed by Dunwoody citizens to direct their community's character in the future.

Dunwoody is a city that was founded for self-determination.  DeKalb County didn't meet our homeowners' needs so we created a city to address them.  There may be conflicts and hard times but we face them together, solve them together, live with the results together.  Potential threats to our self-determination are no longer just from DeKalb County politicians, but also from other areas of the state.

To preserve our city, control our taxes, and direct our municipal funds toward the projects and amenities that benefit Dunwoody homeowners, we must ask our elected officials to oppose these bills.  DHA is in the process of soliciting feedback from State Sen. Sally Harrell and State Rep Wilensky.  When their comments are available, they will be added.  It is essential that all Dunwoody citizens who want the right to set our own ordinances and pay for our own amenities speak up and speak out against this proposed legislation.


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