Friday, June 26, 2015

Dunwoody Confiscated Too Much Tax Money

The big story in da 'wood this week is all about dollars - your dollars.  The City of Dunwoody has been collecting more money than it should from some homeowners.  It's too early to tell how many people and how much money, but don't look for it to have a major impact on the budget.  

For this story we need to go back in time, back to late 2010.  It was fall 2010 that Village Burger opened, Dunwoody became known as the 'Smart People, Smart City' temporarily, Nancy Jester defeated Jim Redovian for DeKalb school board, Firkin Gryphon opened,  Fiscella actually posted on his blog, Danny Ross was pushing for the GA Music Hall of Fame to move to Dunwoody, various factions were plotting and drawing maps of the new elementary school attendance lines (wow, that was a fun time) and Farmhouzer chili was tasted at the Chili Cook Off at Brook Run.

Another item in 2010 was a vote for Homestead Exemptions in Dunwoody.

City of Dunwoody Homestead Exemption
"Shall the Act be approved which amends the homestead exemption from City of Dunwoody ad valorem taxes for municipal purposes in an amount equal to the amount by which the current year assessed value of a homestead exceeds the base year assessed value of such homestead by eliminating the automatic sunset so that the exemption continues indefinitely?" H.B. 1319 Act 562

Take a look at King John's blog for letters for and against (2010 post HERE) Uh, the good ole days when people commented on blogs.

Well, the referendum passed.  Dunwoody homeowners voted themselves a five year extension of the tax exemption in November 2010. The problem?  No one implemented the new rule, and no one correctly reported the tax information to DeKalb County.  There is no way to blame DeKalb County for this issue.  The city manager (he's gone) didn't see this through, nor did the city's legal staff or the finance folks.  Not so smart after all.

Whom to blame? Whom not to blame?  You can't blame Mayor Davis, Terry, Lynn D, or city manager Eric Linton.  None were a part of the city government when this occurred.  When a referendum passes in the state legislator, one should expect staff to brief everyone on implementation and affects of the legislation.  Apparently that didn't happen.  Let's focus on the future and make sure the refunds are calculated and issued promptly. 

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