After more than 120 years, the unincorporated community of Tucker finally became the City of Tucker thanks to Tuesday's election results. It is the eighth new city created in the metro area since the incorporation of Sandy Springs started the cityhood movement in 2005. The most recent legislative session was packed with city proposals, including Greenhaven, Sharon Springs, South Fulton, Stonecrest, Tucker and LaVista Hills, but only Tucker and LaVista Hills had cityhood referendums. The two proposed cities would have incorporated 40 square miles and bordered each other on part of Interstate 285, impacting more than 100,000 residents. In the end, only Tucker was approved.
Supporters say they want more local control and separation from DeKalb County's government, whose reputation has been damaged by allegations of corruption and criminal activity. On the other side, a vocal group of opponents urged caution, saying that cityhood could be more costly and that the newly created governments won't necessarily do a better job than the county.
While cityhood was definitely beneficial for early adopters like Sandy Springs, Milton and Johns Creek, those early cities encapsulated wealthier areas and left other parts of metro Atlanta with a smaller, poorer tax base. Recently proposed cities like Greenhaven and Tucker don't have as many commercial properties to provide taxes to help fund city governments and would still need to rely on county public services. If the decision in Tucker is any indication though, city movements can have broad support even without an enclave of wealth.