Why N.A.G. Opposes Greenhaven

Neighbors Against Greenhaven
Unusually large proposal for a new city in DeKalb County

Why we Oppose Greenhaven: Top 5 reasons

1. Greenhaven will increase our taxes. 

2. Greenhaven will decrease our property values. 

3. Greenhaven will offer the most minimal services. 

4. The citizens within the proposed Greenhaven boundary were not asked if they wanted to be
included in the Greenhaven proposal.

5. Greenhaven’s feasibility study has fatal flaws.

Greenhaven: Who is Behind the Effort? Republicans Rep Ed Rynders and Kathryn Rice


1. Greenhaven will increase our taxes.
-Greenhaven’s revenue will come from a combination of franchise fees, business taxes, property taxes, and a possible sales tax increase. As history has shown, businesses – including the utilities, typically pass their taxes and fee obligations onto the consumer. Therefore the citizens of the proposed area will most likely face two tax increases: one on individual property taxes and a second from taxes and fees that businesses and utilities will pass on to their customers in the form of surcharges or higher prices/fees. Despite these extra fees and increased taxes, the new city will provide minimal, if any, additional services over what the county currently provides.

Neighbors Against Greenhaven Lobbyist Report Kathryn Rice Ed Rynders Rep Billy Mitchell Bee Nguyen Howard Mosby
2. Greenhaven will decrease our property values.

-Greenhaven organizers agree that property values within the Greenhaven boundaries will decrease. While they “hope” that the values will increase “over time,” there is no guarantee that property values will rebound or how long this stabilization might take.

 

-Greenhaven proponents look to the successes or other new cities in the metro area for indicators of similar success. However, Greenhaven is not comparable to new cities such as Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, or Tucker. These cities were defined communities with thriving commercial bases before cityhood. Greenhaven is a large area of land that has no centralized commercial base. Greenhaven also comprises very diverse, segmented communities and would become the second largest city in the state of Georgia. Greenhaven will have a land area and population that is far greater than Brookhaven, but it will have a mere fraction of the commercial revenue that Brookhaven has. Therefore, predicting success based on prior incorporations cannot be used as an indicator for when, or even if, Greenhaven will be able to achieve property value increases to combat the acknowledged likely decreases in value that will occur.

 

-A decrease in property values directly affects the revenue that Greenhaven will collect. As property values decrease, property taxes will also decrease, creating more of a budget deficit and potentially causing further tax increases.

Check out Neighbors Against Greenhaven on Facebook

Neighbors Against Greenhaven Lobbyist Report Kathryn Rice Ed Rynders Rep Billy Mitchell
3. Greenhaven will offer the most minimal services.

-Greenhaven will only offer three services: Parks and Recreation, Zoning, and Code Enforcement. DeKalb County will continue to provide the remaining services which include, but are not limited to: Fire Rescue, Police and Sheriff services, Roads & Drainage, Watershed Management (which comprises water and sewage services), 911 service, health and welfare services such as Senior Services and 311, court and judicial services, Animal Control, libraries, tax assessment, and schools.

 

-Given the costs associated with obtaining the tools and equipment needed to maintain parks, Greenhaven will be forced to hire a third party to maintain the parks. Cost estimates were provided based on other recently incorporated cities, but would not be known until after a bidding process for these services.

 

-Road maintenance responsibilities may also transfer to Greenhaven. The expenses associated with road maintenance were not addressed in the feasibility study.

 

 

East Atlanta and Gresham Meeting Opposing Greenhaven Neighbors Against Greenhaven
East Atlanta and Gresham Meeting Opposing Greenhaven

4. The citizens within the proposed Greenhaven boundary were not asked if they wanted to be
included in the Greenhaven proposal.

-The creators of Greenhaven proposed boundaries without conducting a systematic survey of the residents and businesses included in the proposed area in order to push a bill through the state legislature. They have not been open to feedback on the boundaries voiced by residents and business owners within the proposed city.
5. Greenhaven’s feasibility study has fatal flaws.

-The current feasibility study is, as of February 2018, three years old.

 

-The proposed legal budget is less than $250,000 with a risk management budget of $175,000 (to cover insurance premiums only). This amount is expected to pay for all of Greenhaven’s legal needs for an entire year, including salaries for a City Attorney and staff plus any liabilities. Greenhaven, the proposed second largest city in the state of Georgia, has only budgeted for one attorney. By comparison, the City of Atlanta, the largest City in the state of Georgia, has a legal team comprised of 43 attorneys. The current cap for lawsuits involving the negligent operation of a municipal vehicle in Georgia is $500,000. Just one lawsuit could completely wipe out Greenhaven’s budget for legal services and would dramatically increase the needed future budget for risk management.

 

-If Greenhaven is required to take on road maintenance, the legal budget and risk management budget will need to increase dramatically.

 

-The budget does not contemplate legal expenses for collecting franchise fees or auditing utilities to ensure that franchise fees are paid properly.

 

-Without properly evaluating and planning for legal risks, Greenhaven will quickly run through any surplus revenue that it may have and turn to other sources of revenue such as increased taxes to cover the difference.

 

Greenhaven Lobbyist paid for by CH2MHill?

To continue the conversation Go to our Facebook Page Neighbors Against GreenhavenGreenhaven logo

Neighbors Against Greenhaven Opposes Cityhood in South DeKalb
Neighbors Against Greenhaven Opposes Cityhood in South DeKalb

 

7 comments

  1. I don’t know a lot about it, but at my present level of understanding, I oppose the “Greenhaven” city effort. I do not Facebook or Twitter or use any other social media (sorry, I have managed to avoid it so far and have no inclination to be social now). This said, how can I stay in touch on this topic?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I dp not facebook nor twitter. I would appreciate it I can be informed by email on this important issue, meeting dates, places and times and all important issues concerning my community. I oppose Greenhaven for all the above reasons and more. Thank you for all future correspondences.

    Liked by 1 person

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