In the middle of 2011, residents of DeKalb County were hit with a 26 percent tax increase. You were not allowed to vote against this tax increase. The reason as stated by DeKalb County Commissioner Lee May?
“I am not pleased with the direction things have been going,” said May, who heads the budget committee. "There is a real financial management problem in this county."
The new city of Brookhaven charter caps the millage rate and only allows a tax increase if citizens allow it at the ballot box.
After the tax increase, 2011 was capped off by $40 million in parks bond money being misappropriated to pay for salaries and non-park related operating expenses. That’s right. I, as well as you and/or your neighbors, trusted DeKalb and voted yes for a bond referendum designed in part to improve your parks.
DeKalb took that money, money for which you are paying for with your taxes (just check your tax bill), and used it for something other than parks!
No take a look at your local parks -- Ashford, Blackburn, Briarwood, Lynwood, Murphey Candler and Skyland. You are not getting what your tax dollars pay for.
I read the University of Georgia study that looked at feasibility. A DeKalb County provided document stated that DeKalb County spends just $330,000 for the 6 parks listed above.
History tends to repeat itself. DeKalb ignored your vote. DeKalb took your trust and broke it by spending parks money on county salaries. DeKalb raised taxes 26 percent in 2011.
A “No” vote ensures that your vote, trust and tax dollars will be abused in the future.
A “Yes” vote ensures that locally elected officials that actually live no more than one-mile from your home (in short, your caring neighbor) and are in tune with the needs of your community, will value your vote, value your trust and keep your tax dollars where they belong, in your community.