Sunday, June 17, 2018

Dunwoody calls Special Called Meeting for 8 am Monday to set 2018 Ad Valorem Tax Rate

Monday, June 18th
Dunwoody City Hall
4800 Ashford Dunwoody Rd
Dunwoody, GA 30338
8:00 a.m. - Watch Live
Agenda
ITEM DESCRIPTION
Public Hearings and Ordinance to establish the 2018 Ad Valorem Tax Rate. 
BACKGROUND
The proposed millage rate is a levy of 2.74 mills or $2.74 for every $1,000 of the assessed value of property (about 40% of the fair market value.) This rate applies to both real property and personal property for businesses. Three public hearings, two advertisements in the Crier, a press release, and posting to our website are all required to adopt the proposed millage rate. Staff has addressed each of these required steps.

Collection of the ad valorem taxes will contribute to General Fund revenues for the general operations of the City including police, public works, community development, and administration; as well as capital projects. Increases in the digest over time should offset inflationary increases in the costs of providing services as well as the costs of new programs approved by Council.

This year’s digest projects a 13.45% increase in revenue (~$1 million) over the prior year. This figure consistently drops throughout the calendar year as appeals are settled. Due to the assessment freeze on homestead property, most of the increase is for commercial property. No one owning a home when Dunwoody incorporated is paying more for the same property as they did in 2009 with this credit. Also, no one who purchased since 2009 is paying more tax than when they acquired their homestead, except in cases where the property was improved. Differences from the budget in property tax revenues will be combined with other variances and subsequently allocated by Council through the normal budgetary process.
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS
Staff recommends adopting the ordinance to establish the 2018 Ad Valorem Tax Rate.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Groovin’ on the Green, the annual concert on the lawn at Pernoshal Park - Saturday 6 pm


Pernoshal Park
4575 N. Shallowford Road
Dunwoody, Georgia
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

The City of Dunwoody presents, Groovin’ on the Green, the annual concert on the lawn at Pernoshal Park! The concert features Darlington Road, an Atlanta-based band playing a broad spectrum of great music from Chris Stapleton and Michael Jackson to Hall & Oates, the Commodores and everything in between. Pull up a lawn chair or a picnic blanket and enjoy the show! Get your friends, get up and let’s get ‘Groovin’ on the Green!’

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Welcome Dr. Donnie Davis, the new Peachtree Charter Middle School Principal in Dunwoody @DeKalbSchools

Dr. Donnie Davis

DeKalb Schools announces Dr. Donnie Davis as the new principal at Peachtree Charter Middle School.
 
With over 10 years of professional experience as an educator at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, Donnie Davis began his career as a classroom teacher and has held a variety of roles since then as a building level administrator.

Most recently, Davis was assistant principal at Henderson Middle School in DeKalb.
He obtained his master’s degree in social studies education from Georgia State University before completing his doctoral degree in educational administration and policy from the University of Georgia’s College of Education in 2012.

Meet & Greet
The Peachtree MS Foundation invites you to join them at Peachtree Charter MS on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, from 5 PM to 6 PM for an opportunity to meet and greet Dr. Davis.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Dunwoody tax rate has been steady since incorporation but with values rising it is a proposed 13% tax increase this year. Time for our first rollback?

http://dunwoodyga.gov/ckeditorfiles/files/Finance_Acct/2018%20Tax%20Ad.pdf

Property taxes are an ad valorem tax, meaning that they are allocated to each taxpayer proportionately according to the value of the taxpayer's property. The millage rate is the rate at which property taxes are levied on property. A mill is 1/1000 of a dollar. Property taxes are computed by multiplying the taxable value of the property by the number of mills levied.

Dunwoody’s millage rate is currently 2.74 mills and has remained constant since the city’s incorporation in 2008. Property taxes are a primary source of funding for Dunwoody and account for about a fourth of the city’s revenues. These funds are used to pay for a variety of services including police; new parks and park improvements; new road construction and other infrastructure projects; and the operations, including salaries, of the city employees and contractors.

The Dunwoody City Council has a decision to make in a few weeks as to the tax rate being levied in 2018 as property valuations have risen and therefore more money will be entering the city treasury.  The Council could either keep the same tax rate or decide to roll it back a bit.

There are two sides of the argument, one is that there are needed improvements within the community be it roads, parks or police services and the additional money could easily go towards those needs and the other side of the coin asks why should the City have an extra million dollars when it wasn't anticipated therefore return the money down to a level to ensure that there is fiscal responsibility in spending policy.

If specific funds are needed for special long term investments (like park development & infrastructure) then there is a mechanism for doing so called a Bond Referendum whereby the city proposes a list of projects with anticipated costs and the citizens decide via an election if they would like to raise their taxes for these specific improvement to be installed sooner rather than later.  The City of John's Creek put forward a parks referendum in order to upgrade parks and turf fields in 2016 and they are now seeing the fruits of the investment.

With the typical Dunwoody real estate bill (here is a 2016 sample) the average Dunwoody homeowner currently pays a little over $200 for the city taxes to cover the services of paving, parks and police and it looks like under the current proposal that could go up an additional $46.00.  The proposed 13.45% raise in revenue is a large jump to grow city general operations in one year therefore I believe community discussions need to be had regarding the possibility of Dunwoody's first ad valorem tax roll back for general operations and a possible bond for long term infrastructure improvements that the community may want now and not installed over time.  Thoughts?

I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic therefore all concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on the proposed ad valorem tax rate to be held at Dunwoody City Hall, 4800 Ashford Dunwoody Road on Monday, June 11th, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. and again at 6:00 p.m.

Happy Dunwoody Restaurant Week, an annual celebration of all things delicious!

Bon Appétit


Dunwoody Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to savor something new or revisit an oldie, but goodie. Participating restaurants will showcase their best dishes and desserts at set prices, allowing you to sample food and drink from some of the best restaurants in Atlanta. (Winning!) So from June 9-16, we invite you to bring a buddy (and your appetite), eat & repeat... all week long during Dunwoody Restaurant Week.

PARTICIPATING RESTAURANTS 

Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse | $45 Dinner Menu
Grecian Gyro | $10 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
The Bird | $10 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
The Capital Grille | $45 Dinner Menu
Novo Cucina | $15 Lunch Menu + $30 Dinner Menu
Crema Espresso Gourmet | $15 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
Gilly's | menu coming soon
J. Christopher's | $10 Breakfast Menu + $12.50 Lunch Menu
The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar | $30 Dinner Menu
Viceroy Royal Indian Dining | $10 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
E. 48th Street Market | $10 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
Da Vinci's Donuts | Specialty Menu
El Azteca | $10 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
McKendrick's Steak House | $25 Lunch Menu
Your Pie | $15 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
Vino Venue | Specialty Wine Menu + $30 Dinner Menu
Eclipse di Luna | $15 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
Ali's Cookies | Specialty Menu
Simha Fusion | $10 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
Carbonara Trattoria | $30 Dinner Menu
Big Dave's Cheesesteaks  | $15 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse | $45 Dinner Menu
Portico Global Cuisine | $25 Lunch Menu + $45 Dinner Menu
Diced Foods | $10 Lunch Menu + $20 Dinner Menu
Seasons 52 | $20 Lunch Menu + $35 Dinner Menu
Sage Woodfire Tavern | $25 Lunch Menu + $45 Dinner Menu

Dunwoody, did your home assessment go up higher than you believe is reasonable? Now is the time to act.

Tax assessments came out and you have 45 days to start the appeal process.


If your home's value went up more than anticipated, read the information in the link above from DeKalb then read others suggestions below.  Once you have done some research and feel confident to start the appeal process, search your address here  - once found there is a link to start the formal appeal.

https://dor.georgia.gov/filing-property-tax-appeal

https://politics.myajc.com/news/local-govt--politics/how-appeal-your-assessment-and-save-money/

http://factchecker.stanjester.com/2015/06/4349/

PS: there are also tax professionals out that to assist and below is an advisor who once spoke at Dunwoody City Hall.

http://dunwoodynorth.blogspot.com/2015/06/georgias-preeminent-tax-appraisal.html

Monday, June 4, 2018

Dunwoody City Council discusses economic redevelopment of commercial areas.

http://jkheneghan.com/city/meetings/2018/Jun/Council_Retreat_6-4-18_Final.pdf

Several hours of conversation regarding future commercial redevelopment - there were several reporters in the room and the meeting was live streamed so these are just my quick notes as I am sure more information will be following from others.

Dunwoody Village
  • Need to remove or greatly modify the architectural standards in Dunwoody code.
  • Need to allow flat roofs & modify parking requirements.
  • There are a number of prime redevelopment opportunities available - City should move sooner rather than later on proposed zoning changes.
  • Improve both pedestrian and vehicle circulation as well as aesthetics.
  • Major redevelopment is waiting on one primary commercial land owner who is happy as is.

Georgetown
  • City / Development Authority could review opportunities adjacent to city property already owned.
  • City owns land near Pernoshal Park (Emory and other offices) as well as Shallowford / Peachford building where a new road could spur redevelopment of Dunwoody Park (single level office park).
  • DeKalb School property on Chamblee Dunwoody is also ripe for redevelopment.
  • New opportunities / challenges as Shallowford Rd is discussed as an access point to managed (Toll) lanes along 285.
  • New restaurants are coming soon to the Park at Georgetown.
  • Georgetown Gateway (Chamblee Dunwoody Rd) will be re-landscaped.

Perimeter Center
  • Lots of office and redevelopment happening near the Marta Station.
  • New hotels, new restaurants are coming and expect to see a higher use to be pushed where possible as redevelopment opportunities present themselves.
  • State Farm has several buildings under construction & High Street will add density.
  • The current location of P.F. Changes where Brio and McCormick & Schmick's closed was mentioned as a possible different higher use.
  • Transportation improvements including the Westside Connector and  the managed lanes.

Winters Chapel / North Peachtree apartment redevelopment
http://jkheneghan.com/city/meetings/2018/Jun/2018_PIB_Presentation_06_04_18.pdf

Atlanta Veterans Job Fair at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thursday June 21st. @RecruitMilitary


On June 21st I will be visiting the Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time and I can't think of a more rewarding reason as I will be searching for possible candidates with military service to fill a possible upcoming Federal vacancy where I work. 

The Federal hiring process is not an easy one to navigate as most jobs are advertised on the USAjobs website and interested applicants typically apply on-line.  There are a few special hiring authorities that sidestep this on-line process and when it comes to Veterans, the Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA) is an excepted authority that allows agencies, to appoint eligible veterans without competition.

Hypothetically, if I was looking to fill a future Federal law enforcement or investigator type position in Atlanta, someone who had an attention to detail regarding regulatory issues, someone with Spanish language skills, who also had the ability to understand chemistry and technical engineer drawings; then you could possibly be hired without formal competition as long as your resume was accurate and your dd214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Military Duty) showed the proper requirements for VRA consideration.

There are currently 84 exhibitors scheduled to be in attendance looking to hire veterans & transitioning military personnel therefore if you have served this country with honor and are looking for a change in employment, please come out with plenty of resumes to talk to those who may have positions available.

Maybe I'll see you there?