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In this issue:  Statement on Orlando, Final FY 2017 City of Atlanta Budget Approved, MARTA Sales Tax Referendum, 10th Street Resurfacing, 2016 Property Tax Assessments and more...
Welcome to the July 2016 edition of the Atlanta City Council District 6 eNewsletter. Below you will find some helpful information about issues in our District and City.

As always, I encourage your feedback and comments. Please contact me at (404) 330-6049 or awan@atlantaga.gov if I can be of assistance. I appreciate the opportunity to be your voice in our city government.

In This Issue

Statement on the Tragedy in Orlando

Three weeks ago, the LGBT community in Orlando was struck by horrific violence, the worst mass shooting in US history. The rest of the country shares in their grief, including the LGBT community here in Atlanta. If you have not seen it previously, here is the statement I issued that same day:

Statement from Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan on terrorist mass shooting in Orlando, FL

"I am completely heartbroken over the senseless and tragic attack on our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in Orlando this morning. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of those affected by this horrific incident.

 I know that the LGBT community, our family and friends will come together to comfort and support each other as we absorb this devastating news. May we all come through it stronger and more united than before."

–  Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan, District 6
While the City of Atlanta works to ensure the safety of all our citizens, steps have been taken since the Orlando incident to develop and implement appropriate measures for LGBT gathering places here in Atlanta in the wake of that threat. Coordination with multiple LGBT organizations is underway, and discussions have also begun with regard to assuring the safety of Atlanta Pride attendees later this fall. 

Fiscal Year 2017 City of Atlanta Budget Approved

On Monday, June 20, 2016, City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2017 budget for the City. As I have stated in a previous newsletter, the budget includes a modest 1.8% reduction in the city’s millage rate, which is used to calculate taxes against your assessed property value, to 10.67 (from 10.87 in FY 2016). Please know that we continue to be mindful of efficiently deploying your tax dollars for the portion of your property tax bill that the City represents, approximately 25%.

Of particular note in the budget are salary increases for Atlanta police officers (actions had been previously taken for all other APD ranks) and for Atlanta firefighters. Council had been pushing for these adjustments to help ensure that our public safety staffing is as close to full throttle as possible. These increases will be funded through yet-to-be-determined staffing adjustments/right-sizing within the departments, a strategy that I have been advocating for across the city for some time to reduce waste and create financial capacity for various initiatives.

10th Street Resurfacing Begins July 5th


On July 5, 2016, the City of Atlanta will begin resurfacing work on 10th Street from Piedmont Avenue to Monroe Drive. This project is part of the Renew Atlanta program. Expect delays during construction, and please note that parking is not permitted on the street during this period. Please move your vehicle from the area prior to the resurfacing activities, otherwise it may be subject to being towed (Georgia Code 44-1-13).

map of 10th Street


 

Monroe Drive / Renew Atlanta Update


Renew Atlanta logoRenew Atlanta has finalized the contract with the consultant who will be leading the design effort for the Monroe Drive/Boulevard Complete Streets project. Public and stakeholder engagement will be an important part of this project and will kick-off in late August with a community meeting focused on gaining input from the public on what you would like to see happen in the corridor to improve safety and mobility for all modes of transportation. The date and location for the community meeting will be finalized and shared soon. Other project activities currently underway include traffic count (including bicycles and pedestrians) data collection and documenting recommendations from previous plans and studies relevant to the corridor.
For questions or concerns please contact the City of Atlanta's Renew Atlanta Program at RenewAtlanta@AtlantaGA.Gov or by calling 404.330.6165.

Property Tax Assessments

Property Tax Assessment pictureCity of Atlanta residents living in Fulton County were mailed their property tax assessments over the last several weeks. The Fulton County Board of Assessors handles the assessments on behalf of the City. In addition to being mailed, your 2016 property tax assessments can be found online here.

If you would like to appeal your property tax assessment, you must do so within 45 days of receiving your assessment. Details on the appeal process are available on the Board of Assessors website, including how to appeal your tax assessment online.

City of Atlanta residents living in DeKalb County can find information about their property tax assessments and the appeal process on the DeKalb County website.

MARTA Sales Tax Referendum Approved


MARTA logoOn Monday, June 20, 2016, City Council approved the MARTA half penny sales tax referendum that will put the matter before Atlanta voters on the Tuesday, November 8, 2016, ballot. If approved, this would take the city’s sales tax from its current rate of 8% to 8.5%. You will recall that the Georgia State Legislature authorized the City in its 2016 session the opportunity for two half-penny sales tax referenda – one for MARTA and one for transportation infrastructure projects (TSPLOST) as follows:
MARTA expansion – an additional sales tax up to a half-penny (0.5%)

TSPLOST – up to an additional half-penny for non-transit transportation projects (either 0.5% or 0.25%)
The proposed project list for the MARTA sales tax referendum is attached. Please note that the total cost of the project list well exceeds the anticipated proceeds from the half-penny. If the referendum passes, the specific project list against which the tax would be applied will be negotiated as an amendment to the intergovernmental agreement between MARTA and the City. That means that the public will have opportunity to advocate for specific projects until that point, so please continue to provide your thoughts.

Council’s deliberations on a possible TSPLOST referendum continue into this month. I will keep you posted on the status of those discussions.
Editor's Note:  At its current 8% sales tax rate, Atlanta ranks 27th (in a four way tie) out of 50 according to the Tax Foundation's Top 50 U.S. cities Sales Tax Rates. An increase to 8.5% would rank Atlanta 13th.

State Primary Runoff Is Tuesday, July 26th

I'm a Georgia VoterFulton County voters are encouraged to cast their ballots early for the July 26, 2016 General Primary Runoff & Nonpartisan Election. Early voting polls will be open July 5th – July 22nd from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday Voting will take place on July 16th at Select Early Voting locations. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of Early Voting to avoid lines on Election Day. Click here for more additional details.

DeKalb County voting information can be found here.

Solid Waste Service Levels / Glass Recycling Update

garbage truckPlease know that I am very aware of the noticeable drop off in service delivery for our weekly trash, recycling, and yard clippings pickup. Council has been in constant discussions with Public Works, which attributes this to staffing challenges within the department. We have requested that the Commissioners of Public Works and Human Resources develop a strategy to get the vacancies addressed. In the meantime, please continue to call in missed pickups to 311 or online at atl311.com so that we can accurately track this data.

Additionally, we recently received new information regarding the City’s glass recycling process. The city contracts with WastePro to process our recycling, and they continue to collect glass and recycle it to the fullest extent. However, glass is a commodity, and like any other commodity, markets fluctuate up and down. Right now, market rates for glass have dropped so low that it is unfortunately more cost efficient for WastePro to crush and landfill much of the glass. As market rates improve and prices go up, they will recycle glass at a higher rate. Because it is difficult to predict when exactly that will occur, residents are encouraged to continue placing glass in their blue recycling carts.

Passionate and thoughtful residents who want the assurance that their used glass will always be recycled should drop their glass recycling off at the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM), a city-supported recycling facility located at 1110 Hill Street, SE. CHaRM has a contract with College Park-based Strategic Materials which processes 250-300 tons of mixed glass and garbage daily and does recycle glass. CHaRM also accepts a wide variety of household hazardous waste, bulky trash, and other hard-to-recycle items.

Solid Waste Service Reminder for Fourth of July Holiday

Fourth of JulyCity offices will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2016, in observance of Independence Day. The Office of Solid Waste Services will provide collection services postponed by one day after the holiday for the remainder of the week as follows: 

  • M collections will occur on Tu
  • Tu collections will occur on  W
  • W collections will occur on Th
  • Th collections will occur on F

Please call 311 or visit www.atl311.com for questions about Public Works Services.

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