LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Gwinnett County cities are expecting a $32 million financial windfall -- their share of a settlement of a long-running legal battle with the county. But there is an intense debate over where that money should end up -- in the coffers of the individuals cities or back in the pockets of taxpayers.
For years, taxpayers in Gwinnett have paid the county for police services even if the city where they lived had its own police department.
Tax watchdogs say Gwinnett residents were in essence being double billed.
Founding Fathers Tea Party Patriots member Steve Ramey said the settlement money should be returned to taxpayers.
"Everybody needs every dime they can get," Ramey said. "In my opinion, it should go back to the people where it came from."
Norcross mayor Bucky Johnson said directly refunding the money is impractical and may even be prohibited by state law. However, Johnson said the city council may considering spending the money on projects that benefit all residents or lowering the city's overall property tax rate.