Elections and Running for Office
General Municipal Election Information
The City of Avondale Estates is governed by a board consisting of a mayor and four commissioners. The members are elected by the residents of Avondale Estates and serve four-year terms. The city holds nonpartisan municipal general elections biennially in odd years on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
EHOST and SPLOST 2 Approved
A pair of referendums were approved on the 2023 DeKalb ballot – one providing tax relief for homeowners and another providing funding for the city’s capital projects.
In August the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a tax cut proposal that is projected to save DeKalb homeowners $1 billion over a six-year period. In November, voters approved the Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax (EHOST) referendum that will generate property tax relief via a credit for homeowners who qualify for a homestead exemption.
Qualified DeKalb County homeowners will receive a credit that reduces or offsets property tax liability. The current EHOST will expire at the end of the year. Since the referendum passed, EHOST tax relief will continue in 2024.
The amount of property tax relief received by a qualified homeowner is based on the assessed value of the homestead property and sales tax revenue generated by EHOST.
The EHOST credit is not applied against taxes levied by DeKalb municipalities, school districts or tax allocation districts.
An EHOST was previously approved by voters in 2017 and will reach $738 million by the end of 2023.
DeKalb County is the only Georgia county with a local sales tax that is 100 percent dedicated to property tax relief.
The DeKalb County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST II) is a one-cent sales tax that provides funding exclusively for capital projects – roads, buildings, vehicles and major equipment, and other long-term improvements. SPLOST I was approved by voters in a referendum in November 2017 and will run through 2023. SPLOST I is expected to generate over $388 million.
Avondale Estates received over $3 million from SPLOST I that was used to pave roads, repair sidewalks, install curbs and purchase police vehicles
SPLOST II is expected to generate approximately $850 million over the next six years for capital improvements county-wide with approximately $4.35 million allotted to the city.
The county and the cities are adopting an intergovernmental agreement that creates a distribution formula based on the population of each city. The city’s distribution percentage will not be less than 0.512%.
During discussions between the county and other municipalities, the city of Avondale Estates requested additional distribution to the four smallest cities in DeKalb, each of which has less than 1% of the share of the total population of DeKalb.
Qualifying to Run for City Office
On behalf of the citizens of Avondale Estates, thanks for considering public office. Per Section 2.11 of the city's charter and State Law O.C.G.A. §45-2-1, candidates must meet the qualifications outlined below.
Steps to Qualify as a Candidate
- Review and complete all the required forms under the Candidate Qualifying Forms section.
- Print all required forms and submit them to the City Clerk at City Hall Aug. 21-24, 2023 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. - noon and 1-4:30 p.m. *Please note: only the City Clerk can qualify candidates.
- Forms requiring a notary can be notarized at City Hall (Forms must be signed in front of a notary, not before).
- Submit the qualifying fee ($144 for commissioner candidates or $216 for mayor). The city can accept checks made out to the City of Avondale Estates or payment by credit card (a 3% fee will be charged on credit card transactions).
The City Clerk will review applications upon submittal. Candidates will be notified they have qualified pending completion of the background check.
- Notice of Candidacy and Affidavit
- Submit the Notice of Candidacy and Affidavit when qualifying.
- The signing of this form must be witnessed by a notary which can be done at City Hall.
- Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions (Form DOI)
- The Declaration of Intention to Accept Campaign Contributions (Form DOI) must be submitted when qualifying unless the qualifying candidate is an incumbent.
- A DOI must be turned in before accepting campaign contributions.
- Except for the qualifying fee, personal funds used by a candidate are considered a campaign contribution.
- Background Check Forms
- A background check form (Criminal History Record Information Consent/Inquiry Form) is submitted when qualifying.
- A photocopy of the candidate's driver’s license will be submitted along with the form. A copy can be made of the license at City Hall.
- The signing of this form must be witnessed by a notary which can be done at City Hall.
- Registration Form for a Candidate’s Campaign Committee (Form RC)
PLEASE NOTE: Forming a campaign committee is optional. Therefore, the Registration Form for a Candidate's Campaign Committee (Form RC) is submitted when qualifying only if applicable.
- A candidate can designate someone to file reports and/or collect contributions and spend contributions.
- One person may serve in both roles and that person can be the candidate. The name and address of the committee, its chairperson, treasurer and the candidate must be registered before receiving any contributions.
- No candidate may have more than one committee.
- No contributions may be accepted any time there is a vacancy in either the position of chairperson or treasurer.
- Affidavit of a Candidate’s Intent Not to Exceed $2,500 in Contributions and/or Expenditures
- The Affidavit of a Candidate’s Intent Not to Exceed $2,500 in Contributions and/or Expenditures is also known as an Affidavit of Exemption.
- Candidates may fill out a new form pledging not to exceed $5,000 if they foresee exceeding $2,500.
- A candidate can fill out a Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (CCDR) after the fact if they unintentionally go over limits.
- Candidates cannot collect more than $2,800 in contributions from any one person, including in-kind donations such as food.
- The signature on this form needs to be witnessed by a notary and is filed when qualifying, if applicable.
Detailed records must be kept of all contributions received and expenditures made. Records must be maintained by the candidate or treasurer of a campaign committee and may be inspected by the Commission at any time. Financial records of the accounts kept by a candidate or candidate’s committee are required to be preserved for three years from the termination date of the candidate’s campaign. However, since public disclosures are maintained for not less than five years, candidates are advised to keep records for at least five years. Anonymous donations are not allowed.
- Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (CCDR)
- The Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report (CCDR) is filled out ONLY if the contributions and/or expenditures exceed $2,500.
- Itemize all contributions and expenditures more than $100 and aggregate totals of all contributions and expenditures $100 or less.
- This form is due by December 31.
- The signature on this form must be witnessed by a notary.
- Choosing Option of Separate Accounting (COOSA)
- The Choosing Option of Separate Accounting (COOSA) form should be submitted only when applicable.
- A candidate who wishes to accept contributions for more than one election at a time shall separately account for such campaign contributions and shall file an “Option to Choose Separate Accounting” form prior to accepting contributions for any election other than the candidate’s next upcoming election.
- A candidate is only required to file one Form COOSA which shall be utilized for all subsequent elections to the same office, regardless of whether an election occurs in a new election cycle.
- Ask the city clerk for a COOSA form if you determine you need one.
- Two Business Days Report of Contributions Received (TBD)
- The Two Business Days Report of Contributions Received (TBD) form should be submitted only when applicable.
- A TBD is used to report contributions, including loans, of $1,000.00 or more, during the period of time between Oct. 25 and the date of the election.
- The contribution(s) must be reported within two business days of receipt to the location where the original disclosure report was filed and must be reported on the next regularly scheduled Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports (CCDR).
- Campaign Contribution Disclosure Final Report & Termination Statement
- All campaigns must file a Campaign Contribution Disclosure Final Report & Termination Statement within ten days of the dissolution of a campaign or campaign committee which shall, among other things, identify the person responsible for maintaining campaign records as required by the Campaign Finance Act.
- The termination statement shall be submitted with a final Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report which identifies a zero balance and zero debt
- Most of the items listed above are required by the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. Find a directory of the forms.
- Rules of the State Ethics Commission and the Campaign Finance Act
- Georgia Secretary of State website
- DeKalb County election information
- City of Avondale Estates Code of Ordinances
- Avondale Estates' City Charter
- Georgia Municipal Association Newly Elected Officials training & information