Since taking office in 2010, the Reed Administration has made substantive investments in citizen services and quality of life. The City has delivered improvements in public safety and economic development while at the same time increasing operational efficiency and fiscal management. With cash reserves increasing from $7.4M in FY08 to $151M in FY16, the City of Atlanta is leaner and focused on fiscal prudence and performance management. Atlanta welcomes new residents at the successful completion of the annexation process and is prepared to provide services to new residents.
Progress of the City:
- Atlanta Police Department has grown to 2,000 sworn officers, the largest in the City’s history.
- Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department operates from over 30 fire stations within the city boundaries and is an accredited agency through the Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) and the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).
- Department of Parks and Recreation offers many programs such as the Centers of Hope, a program delivering quality afterschool programming as well as enhanced programming for seniors through a variety of activities.
- Department of Public Works has added services such as recycling, backyard pick up for elderly and disabled customers and monthly bulk waste pick up.
- Department of Planning and Community Development provides various community development block grants and has worked to reduce the average building permit approval time from thirty days to six days.
- Department of Watershed Management has several programs in place to help low-income and elderly customers pay their water bill. Senior citizens who meet the income qualifications can receive a 30% discount.
- The City of Atlanta is financially strong. The City has accomplished seven years of balanced budgets, with no property tax increases, that resulted in growing the city’s cash reserves twenty-fold.
Helpful facts for the annexation process
Summary of Annexation laws: What is Annexation?
Annexation is the process whereby a community petitions for a city to expand its boundaries to include a specific geographic area. There are four (4) methods of annexation in Georgia.
- 100% Method: Property owners of all the land in an area may seek to have their property annexed into an adjacent city by signing a petition.
- 60% Method: Petitioners owning at least 60% of the property in the area to be annexed, and at least 60% of the voters in the area, may seek to have their property annexed into an adjacent city.
- Resolution and Referendum Method: A referendum may be held in the area proposed for annexation to determine if the area should be annexed.
- Act of the General Assembly: Annexation by act of the State Legislature. A referendum may be held in the area proposed contingent on specific conditions.
Annexation Petition Process: How Do I Annex into the City of Atlanta?
Both the 100% and the 60% method require the submission of a petition. Collecting petitions is a grassroots effort, achieved by knocking on neighbors’ doors, hosting community meetings, and mailing out individual forms. It is the obligation of the community to achieve the required 60% of both land area (calculated in acreage) and registered voters. It is also the responsibility of the community to draw the boundaries of the potential annexation area.
The City of Atlanta validates both the ownership of property as well as the registered voter status of every signed petition. Please find helpful documents for the submission of a petition application.
- Sample Petition - 100 percent Method
- Process of Submitting a Petition by 60% Method
- 60 Percent Method Petition
- Sample Petition - 60 Percent Method
The City of Atlanta, in response to mass public inquiry, has provided information to communities explaining the City’s strong fiscal standing and ability to deliver services to its residents and future residents. By Georgia law, the City must extend police protection, fire protection, garbage collection and street maintenance services to the area to be annexed, on the date of annexation, on substantially the same basis and manner as it provides to current residents.
The following City of Atlanta departments are responsible for providing service delivery plans:
- Atlanta Police Department
- Atlanta Fire and Rescue
- Department of Public Works
- Department of Planning and Community Development
- Department of Parks and Recreation
- Department of Watershed Management
- Department of Parks and Recreation
More information on City of Atlanta services:
City of Atlanta Annexations
Maps of Approved 60% Annexations
Service Delivery Plans for both pending and approved annexations:
Property Tax Comparisons: If I am annexed, what happens to my property tax bill?
For your reference, the City of Atlanta’s Department of Finance has detailed property tax comparisons of actual properties in Fulton and Dekalb Counties. The figures show the property owners' current bill with specified exemptions, as well as the expected property taxes should that residence annex into Atlanta.
- City of Atlanta Property Tax vs. Fulton County Property Tax
- City of Atlanta Property Tax vs. Dekalb County Property Tax
Schools: If I am annexed, what happens to our schools?
The City of Atlanta has filed a lawsuit to resolve whether the City Council can make a policy choice to keep the annexed area within the Fulton County School system. As Georgia law states currently, once a community is annexed, the residents of the annexation area and any annexed school property will transition over to the Atlanta Public Schools system.