Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law today several bills focused on DeKalb County that call for referendums on new cities, increase oversight of public money and prevent subtle tax increases.
Deal approved all of the DeKalb-related legislation that passed the Georgia General Assembly this year, and he signed six DeKalb bills today:
- Voters will decide whether to form the cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker in north-central DeKalb during November referendums, as called for under two bills that Deal signed.
- An independent auditor will be created to seek out fraud and improve efficiency in DeKalb County government.
- The DeKalb Board of Ethics will be reappointed, with community groups choosing its members instead of politicians.
- Sealed bids will be required for all DeKalb government purchases exceeding $50,000, and the DeKalb Commission must approve all purchases exceeding $100,000.
- Assessed residential property values will remain frozen through 2021, shielding homeowners from having to pay more property taxes unless elected officials raise rates.
Deal also signed two other DeKalb bills earlier this month. One of them makes it easier for prosecutors to bring felony charges when government officials abuse their taxpayer-funded charge cards, and another allows for a referendum on raising sales taxes to 8 percent while dedicating a larger portion of existing sales tax collections for residential property tax relief.