Is Vista Grove still feasible after the changes?


Yes. These are the main questions that have come up:


Is Vista Grove still feasible after losing parts of Northlake Mall?

Yes. The portion of Northlake Mall annexed into Tucker accounts for $389,000 of tax revenue.  That is less than 1% of the revenue of the city. The CVI study shows that Vista Grove would still be feasible.

Is Vista Grove still feasible without its own Police Department?

Yes. If Vista Grove partners with Dekalb County for public safety, police services would remain the same as they are now with possible enhancements over time as negotiated between Vista Grove and DeKalb County. Police taxes would stay with the County, and the expenses would also stay with the County.

Will Vista Grove receive SPLOST money?

Yes.  Vista Grove will not immediately control SPLOST funds because Vista Grove was not in existence at the time when the original SPLOST law was enacted. The current SPLOST, however, will almost certainly be renewed in 2023, and if Vista Grove is a City at that time, it will be part of the renewed SPLOST law.  Of course, while DeKalb County controls the funds for our area, Vista Grove will neither have the revenue nor the expenses of road maintenance and park acquisition, which would be paid by DeKalb County SPLOST.

Is Vista Grove still feasible if SPLOST is not renewed?

Yes.  If SPLOST is not renewed the entire county will be affected. DeKalb County will receive $388 million from the current SPLOST. DeKalb County and its existing cities depend on SPLOST money for almost all capital improvement projects in the County. The governing bodies of the County and Cities would adjust for the loss of SPLOST by cutting costs and raising other taxes to make up the difference. In other words, Vista Grove would be in the same boat as the rest of the County.

Will Vista Grove be feasible for the long term?

Yes. None of the revenue or expenses happens instantaneously (almost none of the expenses occur in the first year), and that doesn’t matter.  This is a long-term process with long term values and benefits. Cities are not for profit businesses and have a constitutional duty under Georgia law to have balanced budgets. Cities perform the services that they can afford to perform with the revenue available. Like many of our neighboring cities, Vista Grove can deliver some services in a more cost effective and efficient manner. 

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  • Amy Parker