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PTC says OK to 2-year sales tax

The Peachtree City Council decided Thursday night that it is on board with asking residents to approve a one-percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for a two-year period. The city’s permission was necessary for the county commission to authorize putting the matter on the ballot this fall.

While the county wants to use its share to replace failing culverts underneath and beside roads, there is significant interest for Peachtree City to use its share to fund its annual road and cart path repair budget of about $1.5 million a year.

Councilman Eric Imker said the city’s share for the two years, estimated at $13.4 million, would surpass the $10.5 million the city got over five years from the countywide transportation sales tax approved in 2004.

Those funds could pay for the city’s road and cart path needs for eight years, or perhaps for fewer with the addition of new cart paths requested by citizens, Imker said. There is also a chance for the city to reduce its millage rate, Imker added.

Imker estimated the tax would cost him about $200 a year, assuming that he would buy $30,000 in taxable items in the county.

By the same token, raising a like amount via a property tax increase would cost residents about $365 a year, Imker said. The difference comes from out-of-town shoppers, Imker added.

Councilman George Dienhart said he liked the idea of the two years of tax revenue having an impact lasting six years or more.

“If things are tightly managed, and we do things the right way, there’s just no downside to this,” Dienhart said.

Councilwoman Kim Learnard was also on board with offering the sales tax to voters.

Mayor Don Haddix said he was against the sales tax proposal, saying he wants the city to get a long-term financial plan set in stone before he would agree to consider any additional taxes.

Council directed city staff to begin preparing a potential list of projects to be funded by the sales tax.

CORRECTION — The previous headline on this story incorrectly indicated that a formal vote had been taken and gave the purported vote count. That headline was erroneous. The council instead informally decided — 3-to-1, with Haddix dissenting — to develop a list of potential projects.



Don Haddix's picture

This was a discussion only item, there was no vote. Guidance was given to create a list, but it has not yet been voted to put it on the ballot in November.

Also, it was a 3-1 opinion for Staff to work on a list, not 4-1. Councilwoman Fleisch did not attend the meeting.

Finally, the projection for PTC is $12,865,604, not $13.4 million.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Instead of saying Ms. Fleisch did not attend the meeting, you could have said nothing or recorded that she was out of town due to a death in the family. You always choose to make things political.

This is why most people think you are a putz.

Time to elect a mayor who can "lead" not "talk" about a long term financial plan.

Oh, nice Yiddish term! Let me know when you might need more.

I actually think he is right in terms of long term. A splost is temporary and we all know the upkeep of the cart paths is a long term burden. Just tax me fairly and move on. Stop the passing of the buck.

I was thinking another term that started with schm, but figured I needed to stay with PG

Saying it and doing it are 2 totally different things.

We need someone who knows how to do these tasks then lead. After 6 years of repulsive behavior, every elected official in town and county is ignoring him. Like Nixon, he has self-destructed due to his machiavellian approach coupled with lack of leadership skills.

Time for a change.

Its not passing the buck- the hope is that the economy rebounds, driving up home values, which increases the city's income. If that doesn't happen, then we will have to address utilizing different revenue streams. Right now, the right answer is to approve the ISPLOST. This will allow us to share the burden with out of towners, as well as pay for this maintenance until housing values rebound. This is a responsible reaction to the present situation. Its two years of taxes for 6 years of road maintenance.

PTC has failed to budget for the path maintenance for some time now, even though we all know its an expense we have to include. I could live with a one time line item removal during the recession, but we are coming out of it. My family and I use the paths daily. I expect them to be maintained and extensions provided as necessary. New developments should include the costs for new paths.

At some point we need to stop being the selfish citizens and pay for our own toys such as this. If the new studios go in as fast as they say, we can expect to see new families start moving in this summer and the remainder next year after the studios open in the first quarter.

We were using funds from the previous SPLOST, which has expired. In the past new developments have contributed towards the paths.

I'm not sure where our disconnect is. You have proven to be a reasonable person throughout our interactions on this website- and I appreciate that. To me, this ISPLOST is a tool to handle our problems now. The beauty is, you will get to decide at the ballot. I would hope you would at least leave yourself some room to change your mind as we develop the plan. The county has been fair to us in the distribution, and there is a need. Thanks for input.

I don't budget my families finances based on expected tax returns, investment income, inheritance, or lottery winnings.

I want my politicians to do the same. This particular splost is a bandaid fix and according to the county, only 15% is expected to come from outside sources. Plus, who can guarantee the splost will collect as much as anticipated? I don't see Mr. Imker spending $30K in county. Word has it that he still has his birthday money stuffed in a shoe box, lol.

I understand what you are trying to do, but at the end of the day, its just not how I roll.

LOL- I will encourage Eric to spend his birthday money next time I see him.

Don Haddix's picture

Developers never contributed toward such as bridges, tunnels, the connection from Flat Creek to Cooper Lighting and the BSC, etc. They never contributed to road or path maintenance. Those have always been paid for by tax dollars.

It isn't an ISPLOST, it is just a SPLOST. Nor is it a tool, it is financing via a tax.

Per the national average household expenditures, just on Transportation, Food and Other, where sales tax is paid on everything, it will cost the average household about $200.00 a year. This is a huge tax hit.

How many in the County got a Utility Bill that was higher than what they will pay via this SPLOST?

And please, do not speak as if the County is in sole control. This and other issues go nowhere without PTC on board. That distribution came via negotiations, not County dictate.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

It's bad enough that Haddix feels the need to piss on Dienhart every time Dienhart posts but after reading what Dienhart wrote and what Haddix corrected I'm trying to understand if Haddix didn't carefully read it and is WRONG in his response or has TWISTED the truth of Dienhart's words.

Mr. Dienhart, can you please clarify what you wrote?
Haddix's correction is not accurate based upon what you said.

Thank you

I am just trying to present clarity to Mr. Sussberg. I didn't say developers were working on the very specific list that the Mayor mentioned. I said "In the past new developments have contributed towards the paths." Notice that I said new developments. I believe that this is where the confusion arose. I was talking about new developments.

Additionally, I am aware of the conversations we had with the county I am on the record as being a part of those conversations. I have an excellent relationship with all 5 members of the Commission, and anticipate that we will work well together for years to come. If we can continue this new found spirit of cooperation with the County Commission, there is no telling what we can do.

Don Haddix's picture

As the Councilman did not talk about the list I added for clarification, I did not mention new development. Developers build and connect their work into the existing City system to make a profit.

My point was the SPLOST is a tax issue on the citizens. It needs to be clear how it was used before.

My correction was on the SPLOST distribution and the ISPLOST label. That was part of the negotiations that neither the Councilman or I took part in. It was far more than a conversation.

Sure, we can and do have side bars, but they are not part of the negotiations. I know I did.

As far as having a relationship and talking to Commissioners, I believe we all do. Mine have been very interesting ones that I will not get into here.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Thank you for the clarification. That's how I read it!

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of this mayor's truth twists, flips, and continued repulsive behavior to discredit you and the other council members on this blog, letters to the editor and council meetings!


Don Haddix's picture

Thanks, Cal, for the fix and note.

As for why she was not present, since it was a family issue, it is her business to publicize it or not. There is nothing political about it since no reason was stated.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Mr. Mayor, your past history of taking jabs at your fellow councilmen, makes everyone think that this was a dig. We could expect you to bring up that you attended every meeting and she did not, when we get closer to elections.

Everyone has family. You could have easily taken the high road and stated that she missed due to an unexpected family issue. Leaving out important details is on why she missed to try to make you look better is unnecessary, but expected.

Don Haddix's picture

Here we will have to agree to disagree. I took no jab. When anyone is absent due to a family or health problem I do not publicize it. I do not believe such details are the business of you or anyone else.

Simple reality is someone will always ask who was not there. So, I dealt with that in one post.

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

ptctaxpayer's picture

GO DONNIE !!! You said "I do not believe such details [a death in the family] are the business of you or anyone else" and yet you can discuss Logsdon's drinking habits. A tad inconsistent there, don't ya think ?

I agree with the mayor on this one. We need to get our own house in order instead of kicking the can down the road and expecting others (outsiders and our kids) to pay for our fair share. Isn't this how the whole stormwater issue started?

What happens in 4 years when we find out our paths aren't holding up as planned and we need more money? Not sure I understand Mr. Imkers logic because the county is claiming that we will receive only 15% of the splost money from out of county shoppers.

The splost will not gain my vote and neither will any incumbent.

NUK_1's picture

As much as I want to see Don Haddix as an ex-Mayor, he has my support on this issue.

Road and cart maintenance was kicked down the road LONG before Haddix was on council in PTC for that matter. The bills are coming due and I can respect his approach a whole better than just heap another sales tax on the problem and maybe it will solve it.

Mike King's picture

With Fayette County's propensity for voting down additional taxes, what are these giddy politicos going to do should the measure fail? Is there a fall back plan like reducing the size of government like the Board of Education fiasco?
What happens if the residents of Peachtree City vote no and the county as a whole approves the measure?
Is there anyone on Peachtree City's Council prepared to respond?

After sitting thru a couple town hall meetings our commission and their advisors showed their resolve by quitting on the people. instead of offering solutions to the long term problem, they offered a temporary band aid. PTC council also gave up trying to resolve the long term maintenance of the cart path system.

One would expect Mr. Barlow to seek financial relief from others, but we have 4 more that seem to be too be a little light on the work ethic or too weak not to stand up and resolve the county's finances once and for all.

It would have been pretty easy for the current commission to keep the tax in place or modify it and just blame past commission for not budgeting properly. Following the completion of a couple of high profile projects all would have been forgotten and life would move on.

Instead they took the easy way out and showed their mettle, kowtowing to salvage their political careers.

I would suggest increasing the registration fees for golf carts to help fund golf cart maintenance. Instead of paying a fee every 3 or 5 years, have registration on an annual basis. User fees are more appropriate. An appropriate fee would be $10-15 yearly for each golf cart. Builders and PTC created this monster. Why should I pay tax for golf cart maintenance when I don't own a golf cart?

While the increase in the golf cart registration fee is amenable, how do we tax granny taking the kids on a stroll, or the bikers, runners, dog walkers, ect...

We all chose to live in a city that has cart paths. We should all pay whether one chooses to use it or not.

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