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12 December 2014

New City of South Fulton Bill Sets Referendum for 17 March 2015

Déjà vu.

Literally translated, Déjà vu means "already seen."

In 2007, unincorporated south Fulton County debated becoming the city of South Fulton. The debate started anew in 2014. And the debate officially began again, 11 December 2014, with the pre-filing of House Bill 27 --the city of South Fulton bill-- by state Representative Roger Bruce.

House Bill 27 contains similar language to House Bill 704, which also proposed creating a city in unincorporated south Fulton County. House Bill 704 passed the Georgia House of Representatives, but died in the Georgia Senate on the last day of the 2014 legislative session.

House Bill 27 is not identical to House Bill 704, however. There are some significant changes, including:

  • Increasing the mayor's salary from $65,000 to $70,000;
  • Moving the date of the south Fulton cityhood referendum from the November General Election to the third Tuesday in March, 2015 (17 March 2015);
  • Starting the two-year transition from county services to city services before the mayor and city council are elected, instead of after the proposed city's officials take office;
  • and
  • Beginning the collection of city taxes after the mayor and city council are elected, instead of before the proposed city's officials take office.

The 17 March 2015 city of South Fulton referendum date set in House Bill 27 means the legislation must pass both houses and receive Governor Deal's signature no later than 17 February 2015; thirty days before the election.

In 2014, the South Fulton city bill was introduced on 24 January 2014. It did not pass the House until 20 February 2014.