Buckhead is the uptown commercial and residential district of the city of Atlanta, Georgia, comprising approximately the northernmost fifth of the city. Buckhead is the third largest business district within the Atlanta city limits, behind Downtown and Midtown, and a major commercial and financial center of the Southeast.
Buckhead is anchored by a core of high-rise office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, restaurants and condominiums centered around the intersection of Peachtree Road and Piedmont Road near Georgia State Route 400, the Buckhead MARTA station, and Lenox Square.
In 2008, a newsletter by the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation began circulating that proposed the secession of Buckhead into its own city after more than 50 years as part of Atlanta. This came on the heels of neighboring Sandy Springs, which finally became a city in late 2005 after a 30-year struggle to incorporate, and which triggered other such incorporations in metro Atlanta's northern suburbs. Like those cities, the argument to create a city of Buckhead is based on the desire for more local control and lower taxes.
Discussions revolving around potential secession from Atlanta were revived in late 2021, with proponents of secession arguing that splitting from Atlanta would enable Buckhead to better tackle crime in the area. In Atlanta's Police Zone 2, which includes Buckhead, Lenox Park, Piedmont Heights, and West Midtown, murder was up 63% in 2021 compared to the previous year, going from 8 cases to 13. However, in the same period crime overall was down by 6%, and according to police chief Rodney Bryant, Zone 2 had only a fraction of the violent crimes seen in other neighborhoods of Atlanta.
Buckhead, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Atlanta, would deprive the city of upwards of 40% of its tax revenue if it seceded. Political scientists and journalists have also highlighted that Buckhead is significantly more conservative and white than the rest of Atlanta. Commentators have also noted that this secession attempt is "more serious" than earlier efforts, due to polling data showing 54% to 70% of Buckhead's residents favor the move, and due to pro-secession organizations raising nearly $1,000,000 to promote the split. A referendum did not occur in 2022 or early 2023, as the Georgia General Assembly tabled the bills that would have provided for this referendum during the 2022 legislative session.
During the 2023 session, on April 27, the issue of incorporation was brought to the Georgia State Senate in the form of SB114. The bill prompted a response from governor Brian Kemp on the legality and workability of incorporating Buckhead as a city, but was ultimately rejected 33-23. The against votes consists of all Democrats in the Senate, and ten Republicans who broke rank to join them. Republicans on the for side argued that the citizens of Buckhead where not being represented by their municipal government and that the decision to form their own municipality should be up to the citizens themselves. Additionally, it was noted by the media that there was no Senator from Buckhead[ in the Senate at the time of the vote. If the bill succeeded, it would have begun the referendum process to secede from Atlanta.
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