Early voting begins for DeKalb sales tax and city leaders

Early voting begins Monday at two locations in DeKalb County, with countywide referendums and city elections on the ballot.

All registered voters in DeKalb will be able to decide on three tax-related ballot questions. Meanwhile, those who live in cities will be eligible to vote for their mayors and city council members.

RELATED: AJC Atlanta Voter Guide

Here’s a look at the referendums on the ballot:

  1. Reduce homeowners’ property taxes: A change to the homestead local option sales tax (HOST) would lower residents’ property tax bills countywide. If approved, all revenue from this existing 1 percent sales tax would be returned to DeKalb homeowners. Currently, 80 percent of HOST goes toward property tax reduction and 20 percent for government infrastructure.
  2. Raise DeKalb’s sales tax rate to 8 percent: The creation of a special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST)  would raise money to repave more than 318 miles of the county’s most worn-down roads, rebuild fire stations and repair other infrastructure. The HOST and SPLOST questions are paired together on the ballot so that both must pass to be enacted.
  3. Preserve an existing homeowners’ property tax break: The frozen exemption offsets DeKalb property tax increases caused by rising property assessments. Voter approval of this measure would make the frozen exemption permanent for as long as the revised HOST — if it passes — remains in place.

RELATED: What you need to know about DeKalb’s proposed sales tax


Voters may cast their ballots in advance of Election Day on Nov. 7.

Two voting locations will be open Monday through Friday, from Oct. 16 to Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are the DeKalb Voter Registration & Elections Office at 4380 Memorial Drive and the Bessie Branham Recreation Center at 2015 Delano Drive NE.

The Dunwoody Library will host early voting for one week, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All three early voting sites are open for Saturday voting on Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registered voters may vote in advance at any of the three early voting locations, but they must report to their assigned precincts if they wait to vote on Election Day.


Most cities in DeKalb County have contested races for mayor or city council.

Candidates are competing for mayor in Atlanta, Chamblee and Clarkston.

City council races will be decided in Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Clarkston, Decatur, Doraville, Dunwoody, Lithonia, Stone Mountain, Stonecrest and Tucker.

There are no elected county government positions on the ballot this year.

MORE: Full list of municipal candidates


There are about 2,500 registered voters who live on 744 acres of Emory University-area property that might be annexed into the city of Atlanta.

If those voters want to cast ballots in the election for Atlanta mayor, they’ll have to wait until the annexation is finalized. Before then, they’ll only be eligible to vote on the DeKalb countywide referendums.

The Atlanta City Council could hold final votes on the annexation proposal Monday, Oct. 16. 

UPDATE (Oct. 17, 2017): The Atlanta City Council won’t vote on Emory’s annexation this month. That means voters in the Emory area won’t be eligible to participate in city of Atlanta elections this year, but they can still cast ballots on unincorporated DeKalb’s referendums on tax issues.

MORE: View your sample ballot and voting information

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Wangari Maathai: Africa’s first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize
Wangari Maathai: Africa’s first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Born in Nyeri, Kenya in 1940, Wangari Maathai — born Wangari Muta — loved playing by the stream near her home, where she would go daily to fetch water. The sight of frog eggs floating in the stream captured her imagination, with her young mind believing she could grab the “beads” and make a beautiful necklace. Years later, the...
Fulton police seek help identifying homicide suspect
Fulton police seek help identifying homicide suspect

Fulton County Police are currently investigating a homicide committed Tuesday afternoon. A man was killed about 4:18 p.m. at the Country Squire apartments, police spokesman Patrena Smith said. “The suspect in this case was seen running from the scene He is described as about 6-foot-1 to 2 and between 170 and 180 pounds.  “He is considered...
‘Super-potent’ hash, marijuana seized in North Georgia bust
‘Super-potent’ hash, marijuana seized in North Georgia bust

A 35-year-old Jackson County man was arrested after authorities discovered a cache of drugs Monday. Nikki Nelson Allen of Commerce faces drug distribution charges in connection with about 5.5 pounds of marijuana, a large quantity of butane honey oil and $7,462 in cash, Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office spokesman Mitchell Posey...
3 arrested after children found with flea bites in Clayton County home
3 arrested after children found with flea bites in Clayton County home

Three people, who were initially wanted on outstanding warrants, were arrested on child cruelty charges after four children were found with flea bites, Clayton County authorities said.  Nicole Tarney Hunter, 26, Chantrell Marlon Mitchell, 33, and Michael Gamal Mitchell, 58, remained in the Clayton County jail Tuesday night, according to records...
Cops: Man threatened to kill woman who accused him of touching her son
Cops: Man threatened to kill woman who accused him of touching her son

A Roswell man remains in the Fulton County jail weeks after police say he threatened a woman with her son at a gas station.  Allen Drew Robinson, 28, faces a misdemeanor terroristic threat charge after allegedly threatening to kill the woman, who accused him of touching her child, according to a Roswell police report.  The 7-year-old boy...
More Stories