Gwinnett legislators are concerned about tax commissioner’s salary plan

Rep. Jasmine Clark (D-Lilburn) expressed concerns about Tax Commissioner Tiffany Porter's plan to increase her salary in a Gwinnett County delegation meeting. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

caption arrowCaption
Rep. Jasmine Clark (D-Lilburn) expressed concerns about Tax Commissioner Tiffany Porter's plan to increase her salary in a Gwinnett County delegation meeting. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Gwinnett legislators Friday expressed concern about the new tax commissioner’s plan to supplement her salary with more than $110,000 in fees charged to taxpayers in eight Gwinnett cities.

Rep. Nikki Merritt, D-Grayson, said in a legislative delegation meeting that she was “prepared to file local legislation, if need be” to curb Tax Commissioner Tiffany Porter’s plans.

Porter, who makes $141,098, has told cities she intends to charge an additional $2 per parcel to collect taxes in Berkeley Lake, Dacula, Grayson, Lawrenceville, Lilburn, Peachtree Corners, Snellville and Sugar Hill.

The fees would net her an additional $110,734.

“We’ve got to find a good way to deal with it,” Merritt said.

Rep. Jasmine Clark, D-Lilburn, said she had received “countless” emails and other messages from constituents about Porter’s plan. She said she had reached out to Porter to schedule a meeting with the delegation.

“It’s definitely something on a lot of people’s minds,” Clark said. “This is something that does need to be addressed.”

Leaders in some cities have expressed frustration with Porter’s plans. Snellville City Manager Butch Sanders said he was “very concerned” about the issue, while Lawrenceville City Manager Chuck Warbington called the proposal a “big mess.”

Peachtree Corners officials also said at a recent council meeting that they weren’t happy with the proposed terms. But they acknowledged the cost to the city would be greater if Peachtree Corners had to collect money itself.

Council members voted to let the city manager, Brian Johnson, negotiate the contract. Porter gave cities until April 8 to agree to her terms, or collect taxes for themselves.

Legislators Friday also said they planned to bring back legislation that would have remade Gwinnett’s elections board and upped the chairwoman’s salary, after it was defeated earlier this week. Clark said she was “disheartened” that the tradition of passing local legislation without interference was ignored when Gwinnett Democrats brought bills to the floor.

“We may have lost the battle, but we have not lost the war,” said Rep. Karen Bennett, D-Stone Mountain.

Rep. Donna McLeod, D-Lawrenceville, said, “We will press on.”

About the Author

Editors' Picks