The Georgia Legislature starts its annual session with a new governor and a lot of new members. The city of Atlanta wants a couple of adjustments to state law, but that’s not all of interest to the city and its residents.
Republican Gov.-elect Brian Kemp said it’s time to “put politics behind us,” addressing a group of mainly lawmakers and lobbyists, in a bit of an opening speech ahead of his first legislative session as governor.
The state Legislature closed its business this year without authorizing a BeltLine idea to raise some $100 million via a new tax on commercial and multifamily residential properties near the trail. But they did approve Atlanta votes on property taxes and extending a sewer sales tax.
It took until very last hour of Thursday for final passage, but the Georgia House and Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that they mean to be the first step toward a more seamless and robust transit network in metro Atlanta.
A state House panel has approved a bill that supporters say is a fairly narrow proposal to help federal immigration agents eject bad guys from the country. But critics say the bill will have dire consequences.
“I can tell you, the money that has been spent on the Atlanta BeltLine needs help. It’s not going to get completed without this, I don’t see how it’s going to happen,” said state Rep. Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear, asking a state Senate committee to approve his bill.
By Guest Columnist BRIAN GIST, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center
For years, the idea of a comprehensive regional transit system in metro Atlanta seemed unattainable. It’s hard to even imagine taking a train from Decatur to SunTrust Park, or from Duluth to Atlanta’s airport.
Atlanta voters may choose to cap rises in their property tax bills, and might be asked to extend a sewer tax that was supposed to end in 2020 — if legislation endorsed by the state House gets state Senate approval.
Looking to speed up the day when the BeltLine becomes a loop, the agency and some top property owners along it are looking to set up a selective property tax to bankroll land acquisition and trail-building.
The giant red cardboard letters spelling the word “moms” stood out in the gray Atlanta drizzle Wednesday, held up between the state Capitol and more than one thousand people rallying outside, demanding that the lawmakers inside tighten up gun laws.
Atlanta state lawmakers are working on a bill to phase in property tax assessments slowly, help protect residents with a bigger homestead exemption, but also force the Fulton County tax assessor’s office to value properties correctly.
Both the state House and state Senate seem to have agreed on a collective name for transit in metro Atlanta: The ATL. Now they have about six weeks left in their session to decide what that big ATL might be and how it will work.
A new, 10-member transit governance board is expected to be one among several proposals in the state Legislature that will be the first words in a long-awaited debate about how to deepen regional cooperation over transit, and possibly initiate substantive spending by the state for buses and rail.
Atlanta doesn’t have a state legislative agenda that’s been approved by the Atlanta City Council. That’s because then Mayor Kasim Reed didn’t present a proposed agenda to the council last autumn amid the buzz over the general and run-off elections, according to two members of the administration who spoke at Wednesday’s meeting of the city council’s Finance/Executive Committee.
By early next month, Georgia lawmakers will publish a plan to deepen cooperation among and increase spending on metro Atlanta’s public transit agencies. They’ve got a big job, looking for a way to unify a region and minimize difficulties in an always-expensive, now fragmented, and sometimes contentious area of public policy.
Atlanta’s elected officials under the Gold Dome and at City Hall are working against a tight state deadline to figure out if they want to lobby for new laws or flexibility to set policy on affordability, renters’ rights, tax assessments and more. On Friday, new Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and near a dozen of Atlanta’s […]