RUSH: Have you heard what’s going on in Atlanta and Fulton County? Get this! Wait ’til Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon at “Pardon the Interruption” hear about this. (story) “A potentially explosive dispute in Atlanta taking shape over a proposal to break Fulton County in two and split off Atlanta’s predominantly white affluent suburbs to the north of the city from some of the metro 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 accounting 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.
“‘If it gets to the floor, there’s going to be blood on the walls,’ warned State Senator Vincent Fort, an Atlanta Democrat, and a member of the legislative black caucus who bitterly opposes the plan. … 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. ‘The only way to fix Fulton County is to dismantle it,’ says Representative Jan Jones, the plan’s chief sponsor. ‘It’s too big, and it’s certainly too dysfunctional to truly be considered local government.’ Milton County would have a population of about 300,000 if they did this, making it Georgia’s fifth largest County.”
Here’s the rub. “Residents of North Fulton,” the white Republican area, “represent 29% of the county’s population of 950,000. They pay 42% of property taxes.” Atlas Shrugged, anyone? Atlas Shrugged? They are 29% of the population; they’re paying 42% of the property taxes. “A split,” if they split the counties and recreate this Milton County, “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’s afraid the tax revenue loss will have a devastating effect on those who need government help the most. ‘If you take that money out of their coffers, human services will be suffer greatly,’ said Milner, a black man who runs a homeless mission and is pastor of the Chapel of Christian Love Church.” So the headline of this story, it’s an AP story, is: “White Atlanta Suburbs Push for Secession.”