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.