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15 February 2015

East Point Releases Draft Statement Opposing the Proposed City of South Fulton

At its regularly scheduled meeting, 16 February 2015, the East Point City Council is expected to vote on a letter urging state lawmakers to consider the potential negative economic consequences of creating a new municipality in Fulton County.

The draft letter was released by East Point officials ahead of the 16 February City Council meeting.

"If HB 27 and 165 is approved by the Legislature and signed by Governor, there will be a redistribution of the LOST between Fulton County and its municipalities based upon population size and services levels," the draft reads.

House Bill 165 is legislation that would create a new city, called South Fulton, out of the remaining unincorporated areas of Fulton County. With an estimated population nearing 100,000. the proposed city of South Fulton, would be the fourth largest municipal government in the county; and be eligible to receive a share of local option sales tax (LOST) dollars.

The LOST is a one percent sales tax that everyone pays whenever they make a purchase at the grocery store or the gas station, regardless of whether they own property in the county or city where the purchase was made. LOST dollars are then distributed to the cities and counties using a formula negotiated by the local governments every decade.

"Under a revised redistribution formula the City of East Point could stand to lose anywhere from $254,000 up to $1.2 million dollars per year in LOST revenues. As LOST is presently East Point’s largest source of General Fund revenues, any reduction could drastically impact the City’s ability fund Public Safety (Police and Fire), and Parks and Recreation as well as some Public Works functions," the draft East Point letter continues.

"Therefore, the City of East Point City Council opposes HB 27 and 165 or any legislation that puts a referendum for the City of South Fulton on the ballot. The City of East Point City Council is opposed to the potential negative economic consequences that HB 27 and 165 will have on the City."

State Rep. Ladawn Blackett Jones, a Democrat who is sponsoring the city of South Fulton bill, accused the East Point City Council of engaging in voter suppression for drafting a letter opposing her bill.

East Point Draft Letter Opposing City of South Fulton