If the developers get their way, Georgia will join Florida in allowing so-called “private cities.” These private cities, set up by developers and wealthy land owners, can levy taxes to pay for everything from golf courses to sewers. A 5 member board, dominated by appointees of the initial land owner (and joined by 1 local county official) get to rule with an iron fist for up to 6 years (and maybe longer) before the landowners get to vote on commissioners to rule themsleves. Only, unlike in the rest of Georgia, it’s not one man one vote, it’s one acre one vote (15 acre limit). And it doesn’t matter how many people live on your acre, you still get one vote.
Oh yeah, and on top of all of that, you still have to pay your underlying county taxes. I presume Sen. David Shafer is set to vote in favor of this bill. Sen. Shafer, can you tell me why you don’t think citizens of Sandy Springs should have to pay for their own police department and that of Fulton County’s, but why citizens of a “private city” should have to pay taxes they can’t even vote on (which would presumably pay for a security force among other things) and all of the underlying county services as well, even if they’re duplicated?
In other words, why is it OK for you to tell Fulton County’s elected government what they can and can’t tax, but it’s not OK for a landowner in a private city to even elect his taxing authority?