Senate bill sets process for incorporating cities

[private]Legislation passed by the Senate on Monday (SB 375) would establish a two-year process for incorporating new cities.

Senators voted 55-1 for the bill that specifies these steps for incorporation:

  • Any bill to incorporate a new city would be introduced in the first year of a two-year legislative term.
  • During the interim between sessions, an academic research institution would conduct a comprehensive study of the financial viability, fiscal impact, and service delivery plans for the proposed new city.
  • The study would estimate the amount of taxes and fees needed to provide government services over the first 10 years of its existence.
  • The study would also include the estimated financial impact of the proposed city on pension obligations of the surrounding county.
  • The referendum on creating a new city would only be held in conjunction with a general election.

The bill is the result of a study committee on incorporation and annexation issues that was chaired by Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta).

SB 375 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

On a separate bill, the House voted twice against the passage of HB 699, which provided that the term of office for members of city and county governments would begin on the Monday following the certification of their elections.

Rep. Andy Welch (R-McDonough) introduced the bill to prevent lame duck local governments from making taxing and spending decisions during the two months that normally follows a municipal election in November.

“Don’t give the ACCG this one,” said Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs), referring to the organization that represents county governments. “They win so many.”

The initial vote on HB 699 was 80-78, or 11 votes short of the required constitutional majority. When a second vote was called, the bill again fell short by an 82-81 vote.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: incorporate , legislative process , local governments , new cities , terms of office