FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Based on questions from our initial community meeting, we expanded our FAQ document to provide additional information to our residents.
Why is the City of Tucker advancing the public works referendum at this time?
The City of Tucker was created to offer residents more local control over its day-to-day operations and governance over tax dollars generated within the city. This referendum is solely related to public works services.
After assessing the current service delivery levels of public works and stormwater services rendered by DeKalb County, City Council and the Mayor voted in July of 2022 to put forth a referendum for residents to decide if public works services would be better managed with local accountability.
While there is not any requirement for the City to assume these services, officials have outlined ways to improve service delivery and provide maintenance and repairs.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allow the City of Tucker a unique opportunity to offset initial startup costs associated with establishing a public works department. ARPA funds can be utilized to purchase equipment, create a public works facility and support infrastructure needs to reduce the existing public works backlog. ARPA funds must be allocated by 2024.
What services are included in the public works referendum?
The public works referendum provides City of Tucker residents with the opportunity to vote on the City assuming the day-to-day management responsibilities of its public works services inclusive of maintenance, repair and engineering services.
ROADS & MAINTENANCE SERVICES
Traffic sign/signal maintenance
Pavement marking maintenance
Sidewalk and curb repair
Transportation engineering services
Catch basin repair
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED IN THE REFERENDUM
How much would my taxes change if the City of Tucker assumes public works services?
Residents with homes valued higher or lower than the average home, would see proportionate changes, respectively. All homeowners, no matter the assessed value of their residences, would see a standard $24 annual increase for stormwater services.
How would my tax statement change?
Residents will notice slight changes to their tax statements. Primarily, the $24 annual increase in the current stormwater fee will be reflected on the tax statement. Additionally, should the referendum pass, the Tucker Tax District (TKR TAXDST) category will reduce to 0 (zero), denoting the shift of responsibility and tax allocation under the CITY TAXES category.
What is the difference between water and sewer services and stormwater services?
Stormwater facilities address the impact of rain and runoff to City streets. Water and sewer services involve treated water delivered to your home or business and waste that leaves them.
Will this referendum address the County's water/sewer services?
The public works services outlined do not include water and sewer related services. Those services will continue to be provided by DeKalb County as they are for all cities within the County.
If the public works referendum is approved during the upcoming election, what is the timeline associated with the change in public works services?
If residents approve the transition of public works services from DeKalb County to the City of Tucker during the November referendum, the Tucker Public Works Department would officially launch on July 1, 2023. In the months leading up to the launch, the city must submit millage rate certification to the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner and provide official notice to terminate the current Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with DeKalb County that provides these services. Additionally, the City of Tucker will advance procurement and hiring efforts to fully establish its Public Works Department.
If the referendum passes, will the City of Tucker guarantee the millage collected will only go to the intended purpose of "roads" (including road signs, traffic signals, etc.)?
Yes, the collected funds generated by the millage will be firewalled and designated for only roads and maintenance services. Stormwater utility fees will be designated for stormwater-related services
What is a “mill” as referenced in the referendum and how does it impact my property taxes?
A mill is the rate at which property owners are assessed property taxes on the taxable value of their property (40% of assessed value). 1 mill = $1 per $1,000 of taxable value.
How will the City of Tucker prioritize public works efforts?
If the referendum passes, the prioritization of planned repairs, ongoing maintenance, and unexpected emergency needs related to public works services would be led and managed by the City of Tucker. However, the City of Tucker will also launch critical public works assessments to determine critical needs and identify opportunities to align capital projects with maintenance efforts.
- YEAR ONE OBJECTIVES
Within the first 365 days, the City of Tucker will prioritize any deferred public works maintenance and key repair needs.
- YEAR TWO OBJECTIVES
After prioritization of deferred public works maintenance and key repair needs, the City of Tucker will focus on reducing service delivery times by 50% or more.
What impacts are anticipated if the referendum is approved during the upcoming election?
- Residents will notice a number of impacts as the City prepares to assume public works services on July 1, 2023. Some impacts will include a localized approach to addressing residents’ needs by having a dedicated public works service line. There will also be impacts that will align capital improvements with needed maintenance projects, prioritize roadway and stormwater projects, and maintain an upward trajectory of quality citywide roadway improvements.
- Financially, the impacts are estimated at a $94 increase to annual fees that covers both roads and maintenance services and stormwater service for the homeowners (home valued at $328,000). Businesses located within the City of Tucker would see proportionate increases as well.
If the public works referendum is not approved during the upcoming election, what happens to public works services in the City of Tucker?
Nothing changes. DeKalb County will continue to maintain all public works services. Additionally, all emergency public works issues will continue to be managed by DeKalb County.
What is the estimated cost for the City of Tucker to assume public works services?
After a thorough review of past public works expenditures, current pending maintenance issues, staffing configurations and market analysis to estimate contracted services, the City of Tucker is projecting the Public Works Department would maintain an annual budget of $6.5 million, which may fluctuant based on service needs and projects.
What do we know about our current stormwater system?
In 2021, the City of Tucker launched a preliminary study and stormwater assessment with Atlas Technical Consultants LLC, as part of its due diligence efforts. The Atlas Stormwater Assessment provides insights on the City’s current stormwater system and determines short-term and long-term needs. Additionally, the study outlines a preliminary analysis of the state of the system, a review of Tucker’s four dams, a field inspection of key parts of the stormwater network and an assessment of the type, age, materials, size and condition of stormwater assets, giving City officials a preliminary snapshot of the current state of Tucker’s stormwater system network.