Courtesy Large4Milton, Inc.
We're closing in on a historic opportunity to make Milton the city we envisioned. With the upcoming election we have the chance to take several steps forward, but that requires an honest assessment of where we are. This is at the heart of where my opponent and I disagree.
I ask you one question: Is this the Milton you envisioned, with neighborhood parks that are adaptive, bike and walking paths, a vibrant economy and safe roads?
Let me ask you one other question: Is Fulton County our standard?
My campaign is about ensuring we have the revenues to protect our rural look and feel. Even other candidates acknowledge that investing in our existing commercial zones can generate additional revenue without increasing our tax burden. My opponent isn't being honest with us.
Let's have an honest discussion about the future. Below are just a few thoughts I would like to share:
Experts from Urban Collage reiterated at the last LCI (Livable Centers Initiative) meeting on Hwy 9 that a 14% business tax base is not sustainable if you want the level of services typically desired for a city by its residents.
In the study done by the Carl Vincent Institute prior to incorporation, they looked only at whether we could provide the same level of services you had been receiving prior to incorporation. This was an extremely low level of service with very little in the way of parks, recreation, road and intersection improvements. The citizens of Milton want and desire a much higher level of service than what they were receiving as part of unincorporated Fulton County.
The City Manager and staff have worked hard to ensure that every tax dollar has been spent wisely but, most citizens had hoped that we would have the funds to develop the land at Birmingham Park within the first five years after incorporation.
We do provide services above the level provided by Fulton County, especially when it pertains to public safety. But, our residents want and desire a higher level of other services.
Page 9 of the city budget reflects "While preparing the CIP (Capital Improvement Program) it became apparent that the capital improvement needs of the City exceed available funding in FY 12." We are proposing for the first time that we should use these reserves to fund a few of the capital projects this year.
The City budget does not have a capital improvement plan included in the annual budget. It does have a "Capital Requests" Schedule. Capital Requests are requests only and have not been funded. Our future requests are not and cannot be funded until a budget is approved for that particular year. The requests are just that - requests, and the revenue of the city would need to increase by almost $5.5 million in order to afford next year's capital requests of $7,995,760. This amount greatly exceeds even the best case scenarios for an increase in sales tax revenue.
Only the $77,500 needed for the initial study of the Hopewell Road/Birmingham Road intersection is included in the FY 2012. The remaining $750,000 needed to construct the project is included in the Capital Requests for FY 2013, which has not yet been funded.
Our Comprehensive Plan, approved by the City Council in 2011, does include the statement that projects "a potential shortfall in revenue versus expenses as early as 2013”.
I believe we deserve better. I believe we deserve safer roads. I believe all of our children deserve places to play across the city. I believe we need less regulation, reasonable taxes and do everything possible to protect our property values.
I need your vote and your support. Please contribute and help lift us to VICTORY.
VOTE LARGE for MILTON!
Large4Milton, Inc. | 13800 Highway 9 North, Suite D-154, Milton, GA 30004