The Race Warlords Get Revved Up Over A County Split In Atlanta

It’s amazing to see how this story is being broken down along racial lines when it doesn’t appear to be a story about race:

A potentially explosive dispute in the City Too Busy to Hate is taking shape over a proposal to break Fulton County in two and split off Atlanta’s predominantly white, affluent suburbs to the north from some of the metropolitan area’s poorest, black neighborhoods.

Legislation that would allow the suburbs to form their own county, to be called Milton County, was introduced by members of the Georgia Legislature’s Republican majority earlier this month.

Supporters say it is a quest for more responsive government in a county with a population greater than that of six states. Opponents say the measure is racially motivated and will pit white against black, rich against poor.

…The legislation calls for amending the Georgia Constitution to allow the return of Milton County, which succumbed to financial troubles during the Depression and was folded into Fulton County in 1932.

The former Milton County is now mostly white and Republican and one of the most affluent areas in the nation. Atlanta and its southern suburbs are mostly black, are controlled by Democrats and have neighborhoods with some of the highest poverty rates in America. (Buckhead, a fashionable Atlanta neighborhood of clubs, restaurants and mansions, would remain in Fulton County.)

“The only way to fix Fulton County is to dismantle Fulton County,” said state Rep. Jan Jones, the plan’s chief sponsor. “It’s too large, and certainly too dysfunctional, to truly be considered local government.”

Jones, a former marketing executive who lives in the Fulton suburb of Alpharetta, cited the county’s troubled library and public transit systems and a jail that was taken over by a federal judge because it was filthy and unsafe. He denied the move is racially motivated.

Don Petree, the 62-year-old owner of Don’s Hairstyling in Roswell, another northern Fulton suburb, said many of his customers “feel like they’re not being taken care of like they should be with the tax dollars they’re spending. I think there’s some truth to that.”

Milton County would have a population of about 300,000, instantly making it Georgia’s fifth-largest county.

Residents of north Fulton represent 29 percent of the county’s population of 915,000 but pay 42 percent of its property taxes, according to a local taxpayers group. A split would lead to the loss of $193 million in property taxes alone for Fulton County.

About 25 miles to the south in downtown Atlanta, the Rev. J. Allen Milner said he is afraid the tax revenue loss would have a devastating effect on those who need government help the most.”

So basically, the citizens in North Fulton are paying high property taxes, which are then funneled over to the rest of the people in Fulton County. Meanwhile, the residents of North Fulton are looking at the lousy public services and the mediocre local government and saying, “We’re getting screwed here,” — and they are.

Notice that no one is making the argument that the people in “Milton County” wouldn’t be better off if they formed their own county. That’s because it would clearly ring false. Obviously, the real beef these Democrats have with this is that if North Fulton goes off on its own, they can’t use it as a piggybank to support the rest of Fulton county. But, if they say that, then everyone gets to see that they’re taking advantage of the people in North Fulton. So, they’re crying “racism” instead and hoping that all reason will be thrown out the window as a result.

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