Alpharetta City Council discussing potential fall bond

Designed by Isabella Short
Designed by Isabella Short

Designed by Isabella Short

Alpharetta residents could see a bond referendum of up to $50 million on the ballot this November, according to discussions during City Council meetings the past two months.

Mayor Jim Gilvin said the initial idea for a 2020 bond came from other members of City Council in fall 2019, and conversations about the need for another bond referendum—and funding it partially through a tax increase—have continued since then; however, Gilvin said in a Feb. 19 interview that the city has about $25 million in bonding capacity without raising taxes.“When they first brought the idea of a tax increase to finance [the bond] to me, I told them, ‘I don’t think that’s necessary.’ We have millions of dollars available,” Gilvin said.

At the Feb. 3 City Council meeting, council members voted 4-3 to seek state authority to raise its homestead exemption—a form of tax relief that can reduce the taxable value of a homeowner’s property, Gilvin said—from $45,000 to $52,500. Commercial property owners are not eligible for homestead exemptions.

“Alpharetta is unique and remarkable, but we’re trying to pay for a top 10 economic city with bedroom community dollars,” said Council Member Jason Binder, a proponent of the bond.

Council discussions on proposed projects will continue in March and April. Public hearings on proposed projects could begin in May with a bond question submittal to Fulton County by the end of June, according to city documents.
By Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the reporter for north Houston's Tomball/Magnolia edition in September 2018, moving to Alpharetta in January 2020 after a promotion to be the editor of the Alpharetta/Milton edition, which is Community Impact's first market in Georgia.