Buckhead becoming its own city, better for everyone

Katie Sigal

Buckhead was annexed into Atlanta by Mayor William B. Hartsfield in 1952. Now, many Buckhead residents believe this decision should be reversed. The Buckhead City Committee (BCC) is a group of residents pushing for Buckhead to leave the City of Atlanta.

With this separation, Buckhead would be able to address situations head-on that the City of Atlanta hasn’t helped, the group has said. The BCC cites many current problems that need to be addressed, such as zoning issues, infrastructure and crime.

From 2019 to 2020, homicide in Atlanta rose by 62 percent, and as of June, Atlanta’s police force is 400 officers under the authorized level. The City of Atlanta has yet to address these problems for over a year. Becoming its own city will allow Buckhead to form its own safety system and police force that is specific to the area. 

Having a smaller localized government will help make residents’ voices feel more heard. The population of Buckhead shares a wide range of things in common, such as political opinions. This is different from the rest of Atlanta, where people across the city have differing opinions. Most of Buckhead has cohesive opinions when it comes to politics. For example, according to the New York Times, a residential area in Buckhead, Tuxedo Park, tends to vote 59 percent Republican. In comparison to a neighborhood in inner-Atlanta, Inman Park, where only 11 percent are voting for Republican candidates. Having a separate government would allow Buckhead to cater laws and policies specific to their residents.

One of the main concerns of those who oppose Buckhead cityhood is that the City of Atlanta will be losing a chunk of its tax dollars. Buckhead accounts for 40 percent of the City of Atlanta’s tax revenue. But losing these tax dollars also means losing responsibility for a big portion of the city, theoretically, not affecting tax revenue at all since those tax dollars should have been going back to Buckhead in the first place. 

Many Buckhead residents don’t feel like their tax dollars are being invested in their community. The BCC proposals would make sure that the tax money is truly being used in the community and for the concerns of residents.

Many Buckhead residents also support de-annexation. A poll by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs found that nearly 54 perception of respondents from Buckhead zip codes strongly or somewhat support secession.

There are still many requirements the proposal has to meet, but in the end, it will be worth it. Reports from the AJC show  that the majority of Buckhead supports autonomy. Buckhead residents are the people who would be affected by their decision and most of them support it. Succession opens up room for growth and allows residents to have control over how their government is run.