The idea has been around for a while. To get out from what they perceive as an unresponsive Fulton County government, some north Fulton residents want to reconstitute Milton County, which was combined with Fulton County during the Depression in order to avoid bankruptcy.
According to a story in the Neighbor Newspapers, last week’s vote to raise Fulton’s property taxes could reignite that effort.
“The Fulton County Commission’s decision to jack the property tax rate by 17 percent certainly fuels the independence fire in north Fulton,” [House Speaker Pro Tempore — District 47 State Rep. Jan Jones] said. “My constituents are frustrated with a dysfunctional government lacking credibility and failing to offer basic services at a reasonable cost.”
Jones authored last year’s House Bill 604, a piece of legislation prohibiting Fulton from raising property taxes before 2015. Just hours after the millage rate increase, she was joined by six GOP lawmakers in filing suit against the county.
“We are committed to upholding state law and the Georgia Constitution and protecting Fulton County taxpayers,” Jones said in a statement. “I just wish a majority of our Fulton County Commissioners felt the same.”
In order to recreate Milton County, two rounds of enabling legislation would have to be passed by a two thirds majority in both the Georgia House and Senate. The first, which would allow for additional counties, would have to be approved by voters statewide. Then voters within the proposed boundaries would have to approve the county’s creation.
While some feel all that heavy lifting would be worth the effort, others would prefer to see the northern and southern ends of the current Fulton County work more closely together. That’s easy to say, but with the Fulton Commission defying state law in order to pass this year’s property tax increase, North Fulton residents have a reason to reconsider the idea of secession.