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Peachtree Corners Business Owners See Benefit to Cityhood

Some say the name alone provides a positive image which translates to a positive impact on their bottom line.

For residents the dispute between pro-city and those against Peachtree Corners incorporation is ongoing. But a number of business owners welcome the idea of cityhood.

Paul Duke's development has long been considered a step up in terms of overall image for both home values and for businesses. For a number of business owners being a part of Peachtree Corners is just plain good for their bottom line.

Rob Harris, owner and operator of , located on the west side of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, said he in favor of being part of the city of Peachtree Corners. The additional city tax would easily be offset by the image of the Peachtree Corners name he says.

"We would be excited about the formation of Peachtree Corners," said Harris. "The gallery would benefit as the shopping and restaurants in the area help add to the excitement and energy that other cities in the north Atlanta area have experienced.

"The overall balance and geography of the city would be unique and help in the promotion of the area for future positive type growth."

DE Fine Arts is a family-owned business that sells original European art. The gallery, which is open to the public, features works of art from 35-40 different artists including paintings and sculptures which range in price from the mid thousands to $100,000.

For many businesses, image is a big part of who they are in terms of quality of both products and services provided.

Dan Meehan, , is based in Peachtree Corners, however, his website lists Norcross. A long-time resident of the community, Meehan says he'll quickly change the information on his website if the referendum is passed in November.

The reason, it's just good for business says Meehan who provides from Dunwoody to Suwanee.

But it's not just about generating revenues that Peachtree Corners businesses would profit from, it's an intangible element that being part of a city would bring points out one long-time business owner.

"I think [cityhood] would enhance a sense of community and bring everyone together, both residents and businesses," said Ron Murray, owner of which is located at The Forum.

"Being a part of a city means we're no longer in no-man's land, we can take pride in being part of a city," said Murray who has operated his restaurant in the same location for the past nine years.

And what about the additional taxes that would come with cityhood? "That's just the cost of doing business," replied Murray, who added that the additional tax burden would easily pay for itself.

According to Gwinnett County's records there are nearly 2,000 businesses within the proposed borders of the city of Peachtree Corners.

  • 1,255 commercially located businesses
  • 568 home-based businesses
  • 81 establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverage
  • 29 restaurants with mixed drink sales
  • 12 hotels
  • In Technology Park alone there are some 130 businesses

But there are some businesses, particularly those with tax exempt status, that would not be impacted by an increase in taxes.

's head master, Zack Young, said because of its non-profit/tax exempt status, the issue of an additional tax burden is not a concern. The school, situated on 53 acres opened its Peachtree Corners campus in 1996.

The majority of its 1,000 students enrolled at the school come from a 5-mile radius west of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard which means a good number of its students live in Peachtree Corners.

"We would not mind at all in being part of Peachtree Corners," said Young who added the school is pleased that Gwinnett County's police and fire departments would continue providing service to the new city.

Bob Martell September 25, 2011 at 02:35 PM
And what about the additional taxes that would come with cityhood? "That's just the cost of doing business," replied Murray, who added that the additional tax burden would easily pay for itself. Of course it pays for itself...It goes right on the menu board in theform of higher prices...
Judy Putnam (Editor) September 25, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Bob: The point Mr. Murray was trying to convey, was that by being part of a city, the residents would feel a greater sense of pride in their community by becoming a city. And, in his opinion, cityhood would provide a cohesiveness to the community.
Jim Nelems October 10, 2011 at 04:17 AM
For the 568 home based busiensses in Peachtree Corners, expect to get a bill from the new city for a business license fee. If you teach piano in your home, a business license, If you are an insurance agent at home, or a agent for Amazon, a business license, (Johns Creek went on the web to find anybody with a Jones Creek address and sent them a bill.)
Jeanne Aulbach October 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM
James, to the best of my knowledge, Peachtree Corners will not be issuing business licenses, so you will not get a bill from them.
Mim Harris October 10, 2011 at 09:09 PM
Jeanne, The charter lists both Occupation and business taxes(section 6.12) and license and permit fees (6.13). The new city would definately be issuing business licenses and will apply taxes and fees per the charter."The city council may classify businesses, occupations or professions for the purpose of such taxation in any way which may be lawful and may compel the payment of such taxes as provided in section 6.18 of this charter." (6.12) "The city council by ordinance shall have the power to require businesses or practicioners doing business in the city to obtain a permit for such activity from the city and pay a regulatory fee for such a permit as provided by general law. Such fees shall reflect the total cost of regulating the activity and if unpaid shall be collected as provided in section6.18 of the charter." (6.13) When you go to section 6.18 you see that if taxes and fees are not paid a lein can be put on your property.
Jeanne Aulbach October 10, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Mim. this is a power that is listed but will not be authorized based on the services we are authorized to provide. Just because a power is listed in the charter does not mean we are allowed to exercise it. Where does this fit in with Code Compliance, Planning and Zoning or Solid Waste Disposal. Trying to make this connection is a real stretch.
Mim Harris October 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM
Jeanne, The charter lists this as the service associted with finance. It is under the section having to do with taxes which is what the city will be doing with the milage rate. It appears to me to have to do with the businesses being zoned in our area. I was taking it from the charter, that is why it is in quotes and was not trying to make any connection. So the businesses in the area will not have an additional tax and the residents are the ones picking up the tab? Then why are city proponents talking about other municipalities annexing our businesses as such a problem if we are not going to use/need the tax revenue?
Jeanne Aulbach October 11, 2011 at 11:37 AM
Mim, from the feasability study: Revenues 1. The new city will generate fees (planning and zoning fees, building inspection fees, code enforcement fines) from its service provision. 2. The new city will collect the allowable franchise fees for gas, electricity, and cable Television. 3. Additional sources of revenue that are available to most cities (e.g., Hotel/Motel, Motor vehicle, Insurance Premium, Business Licenses, Occupational Taxes, Financial Institution taxes, etc.) will either be collected and expended by Gwinnett County or collected by the new city and transferred to Gwinnett County to support service delivery provided by the county to its special services district.
Mim Harris October 11, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Jeanne, We are not voting on the feasibility study we are voting on the charter.
Jeanne Aulbach October 11, 2011 at 01:12 PM
Mim, the feasibilty study was based on the charter, in particular the services we are authorized to provide. Just because a power is enumerated does not mean that the city will be authorized to excercise it. Business license fees are not authorized under the services we will provide. Can't make it any clearer than that. Nor will I try to.
Mim Harris October 11, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Jeanne, They will tax existing businesses/licenses whether they are out of the home or have a storefront. I can not be any clearer than that nor will I try to. Reread your number 3 and you make my point for me......"will either be collected and expanded by Gwinnett County or collected by the new city..."
Jeanne Aulbach October 11, 2011 at 02:28 PM
How clever to take it out of context, Mim. Try using the entire quote "..and transferred to Gwinnett County." Same tax, Mim. No increase.
Mim Harris October 11, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Jeanne, I will happily repost the whole quote as it does make my point.. Additional sources of revenue that are available to most cities (e.g., Hotel/Motel, Motor vehicle, Insurance Premium, Business Licenses, Occupational Taxes, Financial Institution taxes, etc.) will either be collected and expended by Gwinnett County or collected by the new city and transferred to Gwinnett County to support service delivery provided by the county to its special services district. Where does it say the city will NOT issue licenses? I see the word either.
Jeanne Aulbach October 11, 2011 at 03:38 PM
Mim, if the city was going to issue licenses, it would retain the fees, not pass them on to the county.
Mim Harris October 11, 2011 at 04:14 PM
Jeanne, Really where does it say that? If the city is sending the bills and collecting the fees it seems logical they would also issue the license. Nothing states the city would not keep a portion or issue the licenses. If the cityhood is passed our entire relationship with the county changes and is unknown until the mayor and council work out a relationship between Peachtree Corners City and Gwinnett County.
Jeanne Aulbach October 11, 2011 at 08:37 PM
ROFL! I am making a new resolution to not debate facts with someone who makes them up! :-)
Mim Harris October 11, 2011 at 09:13 PM
Jeanne, What fact have I made up? I am not trying to be disrespectful or misleading. We are debating the semantics of the feasibility study so lets step back and see what the charter says...6.12 and 6.13 say the city council and mayor have the power by ordinance.....my reading says they then have the power. What does the " by ordinance" mean...going deeper into the charter on page 32 line 985 During the transition period, the governing authority of the city of Peachtree Corners then line 987 "May enact ordinances and resolutions provided in the charter". So maybe we both are wrong, as it is an unknown. I do not think this is a laughing matter and I try very hard to stick to the facts and not be emotional. If my reading of the charter is wrong then stick to the charter and tell me where it says the city will not issue licenses to businesses.
Val January 29, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Well Mim, looks like you were right and Jeanne was wrong. The City of Peachtree Corners is taxing businesses through the Business Occupational Tax. It seems to me that it would be obvious to refer to the Master document, ie the Charter, to determine whether the City would have taxing authority. That's like saying, Im going to rely on my Cliff's notes (ie the feasibility study) instead of the document that is actually voted upon and passed (the Charter). The Charter is the document that is legally binding. The feasibility study is just a bunch of fluff prepared by supposed "experts".

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