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Sunday, April 17, 2005

CBS 46 Atlanta - Governor OK's Sandy Springs Plan

CBS 46 Atlanta - Governor OK's Sandy Springs Plan: "ATLANTA (AP) ATLANTA (AP) -- Governor Perdue gave his approval today to legislation that will allow residents of Sandy Springs to decide in a referendum in June whether they wish to form their own city.

The law now must be approved by the US Department of Justice to assure proposed election districts for the new government do not discriminate against minorities. But if it clears that hurdle and wins voter approval, it would put an end to three decades of political controversy in the northern end of Fulton County.

Many activists in the community of about 86-thousand contend their needs have been ignored by Fulton County and the tax money they contribute to the county has been spent elsewhere.

Opponents of the legislation have warned that allowing the community to incorporate could cost the state's biggest county 50 million dollars in tax revenue and lead to a tax increase.

The issue has been simmering in the Legislature for years but Atlanta lawmakers were able to block it when Democrats controlled both chambers of the Legislature. Republicans controlled both chambers this year, and the measure was a top priority to key leaders.

After signing the bill, the governor said, "At the heart of our nation's founding is the principle of self-government. I'm pleased that the residents of Sandy Springs will determine the future of their community by their own votes."

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