Taxation for County Services
State law requires that counties reach agreement with their cities regarding the delivery of services so that taxpayers are not charged for services that they do not receive. At present, all Gwinnett taxpayers are taxed at the same rate, inside city limits or not, even though Gwinnett County does not provide some services inside cities. This arrangement results in over-taxation of city property owners.
Unfortunately for all taxpayers, Gwinnett County filed a lawsuit against each city which was unresolved through lengthy court-ordered mediation. Subsequently, a judge ruled and found against the county. The county appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, which rejected them. Then in August 2010 the case of Gwinnett County versus its cities was heard by a judge from north Georgia who has yet to render a decision.
Taxes in Berkeley Lake
In recent years, city residents (countywide) have been paying over $10 million to Gwinnett for services they are not receiving from the county. This is estimated to account for approximately $16.16 per person per year in Berkeley Lake. That amount will increase with the county’s recently passed 20% tax increase. Cities have pursued the legal case on behalf of their residents. City governments are not seeking funds from the county and will not receive any if the case is successful. The relief and fair treatment sought would be for city taxpayers.
Ultimately the cities hope their citizens will see a rollback in their county taxes, because they would no longer be paying for services they don’t receive.
Services Provided by Gwinnett County
The City of Berkeley Lake citizens receive the following services via service delivery strategy intergovernmental agreement with Gwinnett County: