“It does appear that the overall [maintenance and operations] digest will increase this year.
“It looks like we will be adding almost a half billion dollars to the digest this year, that we were originally not counting on,” he said during a tax digest report.
The figure is about $564 million, Fitzgibbon said, using up-to-the-minute calculations.
“It’s better than a decrease, of course, which we were expecting until a few minutes ago,” he said.
Commissioner Tom Lowe said there is “a lot of residential building going on” in north Fulton.
But Fitzgibbon said property taxes cannot be collected from those owners in fiscal 2013, which ends Dec. 31.
“Most of the increase, the activity we have seen in the marketplace, has occurred after the first of the year,” Fitzgibbon said. “They won’t start paying till next year. We can’t assess it if it wasn’t there on Jan. 1.”
He said he was optimistic about tax income, based on the projected revenue and other benchmarks.
“2014 does look like it’ll be a good year,” Fitzgibbon said.
During zoning hearings, Lowe seconded a motion by Commissioner William “Bill” Edwards to overturn a denial recommendation from the county planning commission.
The denial was based on a previous commissioners’ vote to limit the number of barbershops at Cascade Promenade Retail Center at 1075 Fairburn Road.
“We had an agreement with a community organization that is no longer in existence,” Edwards said.
The applicant, Lakeia Murrah, said her request to allow her barbershop and beauty salon to move across the street is an effort to remain solvent.
“I opened the business when I was 23. I have learned more about how to conduct a business properly and become successful. I cannot make that happen at 1195 Fairburn Road because of the substantial amount of rent we have to pay every month,” she said.
Edwards said the commissioners want to promote business in the Cascade community, with which Vice Chair Emma Darnell agreed.
“My concern is about making sure we are sensitive to our policy of sustainability, which is to promote the economic development of that corridor to encourage businesses, including small businesses, to invest in that area,” she said.
Commissioners approved the request 5-0.
Commission chair John Eaves and Commissioner Liz Hausmann were absent.