A citizen committee will vote this week on the final wording of a survey that seeks public input from city residents on how much they are willing to pay for city services.
The survey will offer details on how much the “average value” home in Peachtree City, tabbed at $243,000, pays in property taxes for police, fire, recreation and other services. It will be up to each individual participant to determine if those costs are just right, too high, or if the city should spend even more on a given service.
Once finalized this week, the committee will ask several people to take the survey as a focus group so they can get feedback before sending them out to approximately 1,200 households. The committee wants the preliminary input to make sure the questions are understandable and there are no communication issues that might lead to a misunderstanding.
The committee’s goal is to get at least 400 survey responses, which will give a margin of error of plus/minus 5 percent.
The residents selected at random to receive a survey invitation will receive it in an envelope with “Peachtree City Tax Survey” in red ink on the front to make it stand out.
To encourage residents to keep an eye out for the survey invitation, the committee plans to put up posters at various bulletin boards, businesses and churches around town in a grassroots effort to drum up support.
The mailing will include an invitation to take the survey online, which will make it easier to collate the results as opposed to a paper survey. The online survey also will be cheaper.
The committee’s goal is to make the survey results statistically reliable so they can be shared with the city council as council heads into the budget creation process starting in March.
The catch is that making the survey statistically reliable means that not everyone will be allowed to take it. That’s because surveys where anyone can participate, called “self-selected” surveys, don’t always provide accurate results, the committee has learned.
In addition to the data being provided directly in the online survey, residents will also have the committee’s web page listed on the survey so they can dig deeper into the financial data if they so choose.
The committee will meet again Thursday, Jan. 31 at 11:30 a.m. to vote on the final survey. The meeting will be in the community room downstairs at City Hall.