RICHMOND HILL, GA (WTOC) - One of the fastest growing cities in the nation is making plans to support even more growth.
Richmond Hill City Council has voted unanimously to propose tax allocation districts to the city. If passed, taxes for current residents will not go up. Instead, new people moving into designated districts will pay higher taxes. The main idea the mayor is pushing is letting “growth pay for growth," meaning incoming people to the Richmond Hill area would pay higher taxes in order to support the city’s infrastructure.
As growth skyrockets in any city, the question arises: Who will pay for it? Folks living in the City of Richmond hill say it will be the people moving there.
“We want people moving to the area or moving to the community to pay for this growth for their impact. This is exactly what a TAD is going to do," said Richmond Hill Mayor, Russ Carpenter.
A TAD - a Tax Allocation District - is a designated district where residents pay higher taxes in order to fund infrastructure.
“It will be an additional tax on the residents in the neighborhood that are in the new development," Mayor Carpenter said.
With more people coming to the area, things like roads, sidewalks, pathways and other infrastructure deteriorate, or there just simply aren’t enough.
These additional funds will pay for their construction and maintenance.
Bobby Teston was born and raised in Richmond Hill. Now a taxpayer, he feels newcomers should foot the bill.
“I’ve lived here all my life. I don’t want to have to pay for somebody else to come and move here. That’s on you,” he said.
If the proposal makes it on the ballot, Teston says the city has his vote.
“I’ll definitely be voting for them to pay higher taxes," he said.
It’s a poll the mayor feels the majority of residents will favor, especially with the rate the city is growing.
“We’ve been preaching very much, infrastructure before development. This TAD will help us with that, but when you are one of the fastest growing communities in the country, certainly in the state, you’ve got to be ready for it; you’ve got to be prepared for it, and you’ve got to have this infrastructure before it comes in," Mayor Carpenter said.
The mayor says it’s undetermined how much more newcomers to these districts would pay. The city is now hiring a consultant to help get the issue on the ballot next year. The Georgia Legislature also has to approve the idea.
We’ll keep you updated on this long process, but for now, the city at least has the ball rolling.