Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Buckheadites mull ‘adios’ to Atlanta

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2008 at 6:46 PM

UPDATE: The date of the sold-out event has been corrected in the post.

On Thursday, the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation will attempt to turn a longtime cocktail party topic into a campaign to sever Buckhead from the city.

PLEASE DON’T GO: Glenn Delk

The foundation will gather businesspeople, politicians and activists at the posh 103 West restaurant to determine whether they should create a formal coalition, begin raising money and hire a lobbyist.

Both inspired by the recent incorporations of Sandy Springs and John’s Creek and frustrated by Atlanta’s estimated $140 million budget shortfall, secession advocates say the city unfairly leeches off the largesse its wealthiest district. Glenn Delk, an attorney who conducted a study that’s emboldened the movement, claims the move would reduce Buckhead residents’ tax bills by 50 percent.

Secession is an ambitious endeavor to say the least. It not only would be difficult to maneuver through the state Legislature, but it would create a huge hole in Atlanta’s pocketbook. According to Delk’s calculations, Buckhead generates 45.9 percent of the city’s property and sales tax revenues.

If they do push forward with the campaign, the activists are likely to face plenty of opposition from the Buckhead establishment, as well as City Hall. Scotty Greene, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, says residents would be better served by working with the city to right wrongs.

(Photo by Matthew Miller)

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