Courtesy Accessmilton.com & The Milton Herald
As referenced this past week on Accessmilton.com, the Milton Herald and Accessmilton.com are continuing the Milton Peoples Forum online. The focus
is to ask questions that time did not allow us to address at this past week's event.
In order to insure equal visibility for both districts, District 2 candidates answers will be posted on Tuesday and Thursday evenings while District 6 candidates answers will be listed on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Candidates are limited to a maximum of 200 words per answer and are listed alphabetically.
With a significant number of empty store fronts and a property tax base that is overwhelmingly residential,economic development is an important issue for Milton. How would you describe Milton to those in corporate America to entice them to locate their business or office in Milton? What incentives would you implement to encourage more companies to locate in Milton city?
DISTRICT 2 CANDIDATE MATT KUNZ=>
"Milton offers many advantages to prospective businesses. We are the second wealthiest city in Georgia on a per capita basis according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. We have easy access to GA 400, and for those who might consider living in Milton as well as locating their businesses here, we offer excellent schools and a variety of residential options.
However, that is only part of the story. We are competing with surrounding communities for investment dollars. Business owners have a choice where they locate, and to be competitive we must examine our incentives for attracting business enterprises as well as those aimed at retaining our existing businesses.
Unless we are able to attract more taxpaying businesses, our individual taxpayers will have a day of reckoning when Milton’s expenditures are greater than our revenues. That could happen as soon as 2013. When that occurs, our taxes will increase and our property values will decline. As a member of the City Council I will do everything possible to prevent that from happening."
DISTRICT 2 CANDIDATE JULIE ZAHNER BAILEY=>
"Milton was always intended to have a primarily residential tax base. This maintains home values and the unique character that drew most of us here. Economic development, both commercial and residential, is important to Milton. We have a lower than average commercial base, but the highest per resident property tax values in the state according to Speaker Pro-Tem Jan Jones. The City collects the same property tax from a million dollar house as a million dollar store front.
It is important that we maximize the value and success of our commercial space, but expansion is not required for financial stability. In fact, as is, Milton is financially stronger today than ever. We have accumulated $7.8M in reserve funds in just a few years, and we are generating surpluses over budget every year - all during the worst economic recession in memory.
Milton has much to offer corporate America. We are close to Georgia 400, and have a large concentration of well educated professional workforce available. Milton also has competitive office space capacity for both large and small business. As the economy recovers, demand will seek us and our situation will only improve."