I have been called “the mostly fiscally conservative Councilmember in North Fulton”.  I have consistently fought against higher taxes and have voted against several budgets that didn’t sufficiently reduce expenses.

Over the past 10 years Roswell’s tax rate has actually decreased. 

Mayor Wood said in 2006, “tall buildings or tall taxes” regarding the proposed “Charlie Brown” property at GA400/Holcomb Bridge.  Meaning that we had to have substantial new development or your taxes would increase.  However, in reality, your tax rate has gone down twice since then, without that massive development. 

2014 Stealth Tax Increase

This year Roswell adopted a Millage Rate where the Debt Service portion was reduced but that amount was moved over into Maintenance & Operations (M&O).  I voted against this move as I consider it a tax increase.  The only way to increase the M&O portion in any other scenario is to increase the Millage Rate. 

The City is essentially taking the money you voted to set aside for capital projects through bonds and moving it over to pay for ongoing operations.  Because we are paying off those bonds the debt service amounts are decreasing, but rather than returning that money to you, it is being used to increase spending.  It is legal, but it’s wrong.

This is scheduled to happen again in FY2016, with another 0.601 mills moving from Debt Service to M&O (of course that could change, but it is in the current five-year planning document).

notice the change from FY2013 to FY 2014?  Debt service decreased from 1.396 to 0.991 mills and M&O increased from 4.059 to 4.464 mills.  Doesn’t sound like much but it’s nearly $2 million.

Kent Igleheart Roswell City Council