Watch This Worksession Now!

Residents:  We encourage you to watch three important segments of this Johns Creek City Council Work Session from July 9th, 2018.

The first is the Parks presentation on plans for the Pocket Parks at Morton and State Bridge Roads, as well as Bell and Boles Road.  The costs for these parks are coming in MUCH higher than it was suggested that they would, just as the City Hall project has done as well.

The second segment is the discussion on the Traffic Signal System Assessment performed by Jacobs Engineering.

The third segment is on the Comprehensive Land Use Plan

 

These three segments should prove to be very enlightening to residents that are concerned about how we are spending money and why we are so frustrated with the traffic lights within Johns Creek, and where Johns Creek is heading regarding future development and zoning issues.

http://johnscreekga.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=425

City Tax Millage Rate: Proposed Reduction! County Increase!

According to the City Council Work Session documents for the July 9th meeting, a rollback is proposed.

“The rollback millage rate is 3.870 (a decrease of 0.49 mills) from the current millage rate (4.360)”.

Property value assessments have increased 20% in total and this proposed reduction won’t typically reduce one’s tax bill but prevent the Johns Creek City Taxes from a sharp increase.

By law, the City is required to hold only 1 Public Hearing.

It is scheduled for July 23, 2018, at 7 p.m., during the regular City Council meeting.

Fulton County Board of Commissioners Proposes Property Tax Increase of 7.9 percentage over the rollback millage rate.

All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held in the Government Center Assembly Hall, 141 Pryor Street, Atlanta, GA 30303 on July 11, 2018, at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on August 1, 2018 at 10 a.m.

Sources: City of Johns Creek & Fulton County Board of Commissioners

 

Johns Creek Newest Fire Truck – Ready for Tall Building Fires

Johns Creek’s latest addition is so big, the panoramic photo setting was needed to get a picture of it in its entirety.

Costing taxpayers $1.25million, the 100-foot aerial ladder tiller truck can put fires out in buildings as high as 7-8 stories.

Most buildings in Johns Creek are homes and are under 3 stories. Buildings with more than 3 stories, typically have solid pane, sealed windows, that cannot be open, thus building codes include sprinklers and have stairwells with standpipes for hose connections and positive air pressure for fire personnel to rescue within the building.

In Suburbia USA, the most common fire truck has a 75-foot ladder.
Johns Creek is the Exception.

This is the 3rd 100-foot ladder truck for the City. The new truck is a replacement and is located at station #61, off Medlock Bridge Rd. It has a tiller for a 2nd driver in the rear, which enhances the maneuverability.

The Newtown Fire Station #62 also has a 100-foot ladder. Both are custom built according to City Hall.

Though the trucks are Heavy Duty and top-of-the-line in quality, the City replaces them every ~10 years.

Dean Gardens: Sold to ANOTHER Developer

Advocates for the preservation of parkland were given another crushing blow as Lennar sold Dean Gardens to “Jen Partners LLC”, with Ashton Woods designated as the builder for nearly $14.3million (in 2 transactions). A far cry from the rumored asking price of $18million pedaled from some in City Hall, as an excuse not to buy the cherished land.

With 64 plots of approximately .26 -.32 acre, each carries a land value of about $224k. 10 lots have been sold as of June 30th, 2018.

Ashton Woods is marketing the 4 bedrooms, 2 bath homes for $649k. Five bedrooms 4 baths, is listed for $814k.

Due to much of the land unbuildable and close to the river, the subdivision will NOT have any amenities such as pool, tennis or playground.

The subdivision is assigned to Autry Mill Middle School and JCHS, both over capacity.

Tyler Perry (aka Barone Trust) sold the land to Lennar in June 2014 for $9,225,000 in a strange and sad rezoning.

Ashton Woods has been on a clear-cutting and development binge in Johns Creek. They developed Adair Manor off Rogers Bridge Rd, which consists of 64 homes. 14 lots remain unsold.

Ashton Woods is currently pitching a MASSIVE development in Shakerag. 377 homes, on 200 acres. That zoning case has been deferred till September.

Robb Pitts- The First 100 Days Report

Below is an excerpt from a page at the Fulton County Website on the first 100 days.  Great news for all of us that have our properties increased by more than 50%!!!  They will be reviewed.

 


Property Tax Reform:

We’ve allocated $3.4 million in the budget to begin to fix the broken property tax appraisal system. The money will be used to hire more appraisers, provide better training for them, improve technology, and enhance our communications strategy to keep our citizens informed. Property owners will see a more up-to-date website as well as community outreach. We will also be producing and distributing brochures and information on every aspect of the process. Additionally, each property that received a 50% increase or more will be reviewed.


The bold text above is our emphasis.

Please remember, it will be the Millage Rate selected that will raise your taxes.  If the Rollback rate is not selected, we are all going to providing a windfall of tax revenue to whatever elected body does not choose the rollback rate.

It’s NOT too early to start contacting your elected officials.  They know how this process works and they can put everyone at ease with the valuations that are coming by announcing now what they are planning to do when it comes to Millage Rates.

It’s Not Your Assessments That Will Increase Your Property Tax Bills…

It’s  entertaining watching politicians working overtime to protect us by focusing on (Pick One):

A)  Rising Property Valuations

OR

B)   Making sure they start the Property Tax discussions with the Roll-Back Millage Rate

Which do you feel is the most critical part of this upcoming issue regarding YOUR property taxes?


There has been nothing but finger-pointing over the Fulton County Property Tax debacle.  And rest assured it will get worse before it gets resolved.

It’s NOT the Tax Assessors that will raise your property taxes.    The property values of everyone in Johns Creek could rise by 300%.  Your taxes could stay approximately the same.

As a Johns Creek property owner, it’s these three government bodies that will decide to raise your property taxes or not, and NOT the Tax Assessor.  They are:

Your Fulton County Commissioners (Seven Members)

Your Fulton County School Board(Seven Members)

Your Johns Creek City Council(Seven Members)

Letter to the Editor

Do you believe the citizens of Johns Creek realize what a drastic amount of Road improvements are about to happen due to the t-splost? In spite of having at least seven meetings around this area, only those who have actually gone to the City Council meetings and seen physically what is going to happen will anyone realize the catastrophic degradation of our way of life. I encourage everyone reading this to come to City Council meetings take a comment card and fill it out. I am Momma nature – I speak for the trees and I am sickened by the amount of devastation happening here. There should be nothing called clear-cutting happening here but it does and you know it. Where do you think these animals are going to go? These trees are giving us oxygen and in some cases shade. Do we protect them? I don’t think so. Our children are watching us to see if we have the intelligence to protect our environment. Air water and soil quality have been abused and taken for granted. Let’s wise up. Momma Nature Former master naturalist- resigned recently so I can focus on environmental degradation around me in Johns Creek.

-Carol Madan

A Development Authority for Johns Creek? Just Say No

Amazon is presently inviting US cities to outbid each other in a contest to host its “second headquarters”, waving the promise of 50,000 jobs and $5bn of investment in front of the winning applicant. Maryland offered $5bn of tax incentives – dollar for dollar the same as the pledged investment – for the company to opt for Montgomery County, while California offered between $300m and $1bn of breaks. New Jersey even promised $7bn of tax incentives – $2bn more than Amazon’s maximum investment. Whichever city wins, it seems likely that tax will influence its decision-making: the firm’s published criteria for bidders cites “a stable and business-friendly environment and tax structure” as a high priority.

The paragraph above shows you the end result of governments pursuing growth at any price. Cities attempt to outbid each other in an effort to secure a business that they want located in their city limits.

We’ve seen taxpayers on the hook for financing professional sports stadiums for the very same reasons: the promises of the positive economic impact.

Presently, the City  Johns Creek is discussing whether they should create a Development Authority.  It’s purpose would be to offer property tax abatements, financing and other incentives to locate here in Johns Creek.

Before we go further let me ask you this question,   “What was your incentive to locate to Johns Creek?”  Did you need property tax abatements, better financing options, or other offers to help you make the decision to locate here?

In past conversations regarding the Central Business District, I have consistently taken the stand that the private sector is the is best suited for determining what will be built on commercial properties. This would also include the scale for such buildings.

The decisions for the development of commercial properties should be left to the private sector.  Based upon their analysis on what their profitability will be given the market, their location, and the cost of their funds, they must decide whether or not they take the risk and start or relocate a business.

The proposed Development Authority, however, changes that equation.

A Development Authority can lead to a lower cost of funds for a business.  And while it’s hard for me to believe that any viable business could not get the funds they needed to open or relocate over the last 5-10 years with interest rates at artificially low levels, there are some on our City Council that want to work to get those businesses even lower rates.  Don’t you wish they were doing the same to get you lower rates on your home mortgage?

A Development Authority would offer tax abatements on said properties for ten years.  This abatement applies to local, county, and school taxes.  The first year the property taxes will be 50% of the appraised value.  The 2nd year it will be 55%.  This will continue through year ten.

We are told that this is never a loss in revenue because the new value of the property will generate more property tax revenue at 50% of the new value than it did at the old undeveloped value.

They cite this reason for treating new businesses with a cut in taxes, whereas currently established, loyal businesses would have more competition and not benefit from the tax break.

And here is what they are NOT telling you.  Our property tax valuations in Johns Creek, specifically commercial properties are so out of whack that they make no rational sense.   There’s a well discussed campus in Tech Park which is used as an example of how valuable it is to use a Development Authority to retain them. And maybe that has some merit.  But can someone explain why there are some acres on that campus that have the land valued at  $720,000 per acre and the adjoining parcel, which is used for parking, is valued at $60,000 per acre?

Some of our elected officials claim that we need the Development Authority to take some of the pressure of residential property taxes.   Perhaps we should start with having the commercial properties in Johns Creek fairly assessed.

Then, let’s make sure whatever tax decisions made are applied to all property owners and not just a select few.

Leave the development business to the private sector.

The City should provide a level playing field for everyone.  Anything less is wrong.

 

Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann to hold Town Hall Meeting to discuss 2018 Property Assessments

Assessment Notices will be mailed late May

Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann, District 1, will hold a Town Hall Meeting on April 24th at Chattahoochee High School to discuss 2018 Property Assessments in order to provide information and assistance to understanding how property is assessed. Assessment Notices will be mailed late May.

“It is my hope that homeowners will attend this important meeting,” states Commissioner Liz Hausmann. “I am holding this town hall to give them an opportunity to ask questions, learn how their property is assessed and to learn about the appeal process if they disagree with the assessed value of their property.”

On Tuesday, April 24th, Commissioner Hausmann, along with staff from the Tax Assessors’ Office, will be at:

Chattahoochee High School
5230 Taylor Road
Johns Creek, GA 30022

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Visit www.fultonassessor.org for more information about property assessments.


This is one of the biggest outstanding issues we face going forward.  We all know the issues we have had with the Tax Assessments here in Johns Creek and the rest of Fulton County.  Around 1/3 of this City’s revenue comes from property taxes.

We also have every reason to believe that valuations are going to rise much much faster than most are prepared for.  And we know the flaws we all face with such a system.

Our city, county and school officials can negate the major portion of this problem by agreeing to start at the “roll-back” rate every year.

Were officials to do this, then over the course of time(10 years for example) the impact to you and your property taxes should be as minimal as possible.  The average of your increases in the years where your property values went up would balance with the years where your property valuations stayed the same IF the roll-back rate was selected every year.

But of course, I cannot be sure I would trust officials to do this over the course of ten years and neither should you.  The temptation for a windfall in tax revenues is just too great for some elected officials.

We encourage you to attend this meeting.  Voice your concerns.  And be sure to ask why there are certain business properties that have also not been revalued for many years.

Only pressure from all of us will encourage a fair and reasonable system to be implemented for all of us.

-EJM