Eric Imker: With SPLOST, Peachtree City Council has no excuse for not lowering taxes

This year City Council could have lowered property taxes by about one mill. That would put $130 back in the pocket of the average Peachtree City homeowner.

The current council hasn’t and won’t lower our property taxes because they want more of our money. This shows a lack of confidence in our ability to spend our own money the way we know best. Misrepresentations by those who claim if property taxes are lowered then six years from now dire hardships will occur are baseless.

Council may boast about the millage rate going down this year but that doesn’t mean lower taxes. Like last year, our fair market values (FMVs) went up. Council did not lower the mill rate so, in effect, they raised taxes.

This year (interestingly enough, an election year) council decided with a great deal of fanfare to lower the mill rate. However, because of the rise in FMVs again, we will be paying the same amount of taxes as last year. Council knows we are aware that our taxes are not going down.

The SPLOST vote, in March, was the largest tax revenue initiative in the history of Peachtree City. This added over $45 million dollars into city resources over the next six years for road and cart path infrastructure and other critical items.

Additionally, the SPLOST has so much contingency funds built in, there is no excuse for not lowering property taxes. Passage of the SPLOST alone should have meant at least a 1 mill tax rate reduction. If the current council cannot meet the challenge of running the city and maintaining infrastructure with reduced property taxes plus $45 million extra dollar, we need someone else in charge.

Current council is making the same mistake as a previous council by not lowering taxes after a SPLOST. Further, lower property taxes will encourage more industrial partners to come to Peachtree City, and encourage those that are here to stay.

Recently, council rezoned our last best industrial land to residential. We need to counter that and entice industries to what land is left. Raising taxes does not offer an incentive to locate or stay in Peachtree City.

Years ago, there was a well-planned, working ratio of industrial to residential property. That has eroded. Planterra and Wilksmoor are prime examples. It was understood then that industrial brings money into the general fund whereas residential drains money from the general fund. That is still true.

I cannot run a prefect campaign nor be a perfect mayor. I have made and will make mistakes. But, I will always seek advice from citizens, from other elected officials at the city, county, and state level, and will draw on the expertise and corporate knowledge of the city staff.

I hope that you will find this the best approach to ensuring Peachtree City remains a place where families, individuals, and businesses will “Plan to Stay.” I ask for your support and your vote.

Eric Imker
Candidate for mayor
Peachtree City, Ga.