The Rice Report
The Elephant in the Room:
Results from the UGA-CVI Study on City Incorporations

On December 18, 2019 the Carl Vinson Institute at University of Georgia (UGA-CVI) presented the results of the study they had been commissioned to do on understanding the impact of city incorporations and annexations on DeKalb County. Three major findings were:
1)  Unincorporated DeKalb residents subsidize services and infrastructure in DeKalb County.

a.    Revenue to the Unincorporated Fund comes ONLY from unincorporated DeKalb. However, a significant amount (40.5%) is transferred out to pay for other services and infrastructure.
b.    $8,578,000 was transferred from Unincorporated to another fund to pay for Roads, some in incorporated areas. As presenter Dr. Paula Stanford stated,
“It seems unfair that unincorporated revenue should have to clean the right-of-way for an incorporated area.” Dr. Sanford
c.    ( Not in the presentation but another fact : SPLOST funds from unincorporated DeKalb go to the County, some of which pays for County roads and Police and Fire buildings and repair in incorporated areas.)
d.     The use of revenue from residents in unincorporated DeKalb helps keep taxes lower for residents in the entire County.
2)  The formation of the proposed city in southern DeKalb would barely affect the County.

a.   The loss to the County from forming the proposed city in southern DeKalb would be $2,868,885 out of a $1.3 billion budget. 
b.   That loss of revenue for the county is .2% - equivalent to having $5 dollars and losing a penny.
c.    Yet, for residents in southern DeKalb, forming a new city would mean at least $27 million in estimated net revenue, which can be invested in building up infrastructure in southern DeKalb.
3)  The elephant in the room (the thing no one is talking about but has the most impact) is the unfunded liability of DeKalb County’s Pension Plan.

a.    The net pension liability of the DeKalb County Pension Plan in 2018 was $1.03 billion dollars.
b.   From 2014 to 2018, the net pension liability increased 65.7%.
c.    Money to help pay the liability comes from unincorporated taxpayers! That’s mostly residents in southern DeKalb.
d. The good news is that it doesn't have to stay this way! Share this information and send the names and email addresses of your family and neighbors to to learn what can be done during the 2020 legislative session.

1.   Residents in southern DeKalb should form a city immediately to stop the inequity of their tax dollars going elsewhere. 

2.   Only the County can take steps to address the pension plan issue. The County should take even further steps to improve (lessen) the pension liability. 
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