Redevelopment tax question on F’ville ballot Tuesday

The time has come for Fayetteville voters to decide on a proposal to bring an economic revitalization tool to the city.

If approved by voters July 20, the referendum will give the city redevelopment powers needed to move ahead with efforts such as the Tax Allocation District (TAD) projects identified last year.

Rather than increasing property taxes in a TAD-designated area, Fayetteville would be able to divert the property taxes normally allocated to the county and to the school system into redevelopment projects.

The result would be a net loss of tax revenue for the county and school system to pay for upgrading the TAD area.

Utilized in a number of communities across Georgia, TADs help local governments attract private development and new businesses which create jobs, attract customers and in turn, generate additional private investment in areas that have experienced stagnant or declining growth without putting pressure on the current tax base and taxpayers.

Requiring voter approval to implement, a qualifying TAD area must be either blighted or distressed, deteriorating or one with inadequate infrastructure. The City Council last year identified three such commercial areas that could benefit from redevelopment activities.

Those areas included the 692 Shopping Center on North Glynn Street, the Fayette Place Shopping Center on North Glynn and, potentially, the under-utilized area of the Market Place at Lafayette that is a part of the Villages at Lafayette master plan.

Financing for a TAD comes as the tax base for the project area is frozen to form a base valuation, with property taxes used to pay eligible infrastructure-affiliated redevelopment costs. Bonds may also be issued to help finance projects. Subsequent annual tax revenues in the project area are used to fund the city’s portion of the redevelopment.

Redevelopment powers will not change the existing method of setting property taxes. TAD financing does not rely on tax increases from properties that are not subject to redevelopment and apply only to those property owners who choose to have their land included within the TAD area.

Essentially, a TAD is not a new tax but rather a diversion of existing taxes in a specific geographic area to be used for redevelopment purposes. TAD property taxes can also be used to pay on any public or private bond that might be associated with the TAD project.

Specific TAD projects must also gain approval from the Fayette County Commission and Board of Education since the property tax revenues generated in the TAD project area would stay there during the project period to help defray the costs of the infrastructure and other improvements designated in the project document.

Georgia’s most visible example of a Tax Allocation District project is Atlantic Station near downtown Atlanta.

fc1989
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Ben, I still think you should

Ben, I still think you should follow up on the accuracy of the TAD diverting taxes. The way I understand it only the incremental increases are used to pay for the development. Those are tax collections that would not have been collected without the development so really the taxes are not diverted because they would not have been assessed in the first place. Maybe a technicality but I think it is not accurate to imply that the BOC and BOE would have revenues taken away.

Spear Road Guy
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Jevank Get A Brain

You're ragging on Steve Brown blog after blog and you don't have a clue what you're talking about!!!

The 2009 SPLOST is an issue because the commission wanted us to blow over $100 million of our dollars on useless projects. That's something to remind the voters about.

Jevank and Hutch are clueless so read their posts at your own risk. There are no lifeguards on duty.

Voter
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commissioners

The campaign is just about done. Smith and Maxwell have five different answers for every issue. The facts are this.
1--They are both willing to waste money $30,000,000 to $50,000,000 for a road to no where. This is definately a project for the special interests.

2--Smith has a conflict of interest with seat on a Georgia bank. This lack of ethics is to support the special interest group.

3--Transparency in government is a unfamiliar term and prefer to power thier way through issues for the special interests.

I want clarity from candidates. Mayor Haddix talked with Smith about the 2003 SPLOST. The economy has changed dramatically since 2003. Was Smith willing to consider other projects or a better way to use the SPLOST money. The answer was no. Peachtree City is the largest city in the county. His arrogant answer was no. I think Peachtree City should say no to Jack Smith. Brown, McCarty and Dodd are the right choices.

fc1989
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Existing Taxes are not diverted

Ben I think you are mistaken in your assessment that tax dollars are diverted from the BOC and BOE. As you say in the story earlier, the TAD sets a frozen base line digest for those properties in the TAD and only the incremental taxes above the baseline are used for the development. These incremental taxes would not exist with the area staying in its' current condition so the taxes are not diverted by the development but created by the development. These funds are usually low at first and usually go to pay for bonds. That is why investment bankers are usually the ones pushing TAD's, to sell bonds. However, it is an effective way to fund the development without raising taxes now and letting the development pay for itself....at least that is the theory. There have been many successful examples in the state of GA including Atlantic Station. Riverdale and Clayton County are now using this close by (not a ringing endorsement however). The downside is that the incremental tax increases will only go to pay for the development and not the additional services that will need to be provided such as police and fire. Hopefully the additional service requirements are minimal for the near future and the city can handle it until the the TAD bonds are paid. I do not think that this development will affect schools that much. When the bonds are paid off the city will get the benefit of the increased tax digest value as well as other economic improvements. The real question is do Fayetteville citizens really want the redevelopment in this area? Probably yes, and this is a good way to pay for it and attract the people to do so.

AtHomeGym
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FC989 & TAD

Appreciate explanation. Question: What if improvements/redevelopment DO NOT resultin increased tax revenue, who eats the bond repayment?

fc1989
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AtHome

Sorry, not sure how that is handled if just the City would be on the hook or it would involve all the governmental entities. I have not heard of it happening but potentially could. I will do some research.

fayette77
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Setting up for future SPLOST?

Won't diverting money from the county and school system create a further lack of funds requiring higher taxes in the future for the good of the "children".
I can't see Fayette Place, 692 Shopping Center and Lafayette becoming nearly the revitalization that Atlantic station did with the flood of other high quality, empty strip shopping centers laying around.
I'd like to see other, more realistic examples of diverting county and education dollars revitalizing retail areas.

Ninja Guy
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Important Question for Steve Brown

Mr. Brown, before I vote for you on Tuesday, can you tell us residents where you stand on this TAD ballot issue, as the County Commission will have to approve these projects. It seems that property taxes usually used for education will be shifted to redevelop blighted shopping centers in Fayetteville. Is this a good idea?

Steve Brown
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Jevank and Ninja Guy on TAD

Sorry guys, I have been out of town and did not have access to the Internet.

On the Tax Allocation Districts, I have nothing against them. I do not have the details on the Fayetteville proposal.

Fayetteville has some legitimate problems with some of the old strip shopping centers. The problem is exacerbated by the fact they have allowed newer and larger commercial developments on the outskirts of the city limits, causing the older, interior centers to lose value.

I would wholeheartedly support anything that produced some quality redevelopment, help eliminate some of the curb cuts on GA Hwy. 85 and created inter-parcel connectivity. In the end Fayetteville and the county would win.

Here are some concerns. The Board of Education is in such a bad state. and looking to get worse before things get better, that I do not think they can forgo the tax revenue from the properties. All governmental entities within the county are going to have to work together to prop-up the school system because so much rides on their succeeding.

Steve Brown
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Jevank, second response

As I said before, I have very limited information on what Fayetteville wants to do. The newspapers stories were vague. I am very familiar with TADs and would certainly study the proposal.

Obviously, the people in Fayetteville have to approve the referendum first or it really does not matter.

The BOE has to approve the TAD as well. As I said in the previous post, I do not think they can forgo the revenue.

As for responding to posts, many times I do not see them. I usually get on the site once a day, mainly in the evening. I have never thought you to be anything, much less a development banker. I do not ever recall you giving any information on yourself.

jevank
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TAD approval
Steve Brown wrote:

Obviously, the people in Fayetteville have to approve the referendum first or it really does not matter.

All of Fayette County has to approve it...not just Fayetteville. Since money would be stolen,..err, I mean diverted from the County and the Board of Education, we all have a say.

Are you sure you know enough about the issues to do this job?

jevank
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Will you be a little more specific, Mr. Brown?

Is that a "yes" or a "no" on this TAD?

I'm a little confused on who owns these shopping centers. Are they developers? If we call them "re-developers" is it then okay to let them benefit financially from Fayette County citizens?

Believe it or not, Steve, I think you are the better candidate. But this is the first time you have not ignored or berated one of my posts. I think you are starting to realize that not everyone opposed to you is a developer or a banker. I would like to know how you plan on proceeding with TADs in the future.

jevank
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Steve Brown won't answer this

As a matter of fact, no one seems to want to discuss this issue. The Citizen has reported on this since at least January, and you are the first person (besides me) to even question it.

I have a feeling the school board will not approve it anyway, so it may not need much discussion.

Ninja Guy
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jevank: More on TAD

If Smith and Smola are developer supported as many on these blogs say, why wouldn't they vote to shift funds to redevelop shopping centers in Fayetteville? It surprises me too that there is not more interest in this matter. Shifting school funds to redevelop shopping centers? Come on, this is a big issue!

jevank
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Ninja Guy

Seems far-fetched, doesn't it. But, then again, I would not be surprised if you were on to something.

If Steve Brown is this uninformed on TADs, then of course the rest of Fayette County is. I assumed Steve Brown voted early (unless he is still mulling over the thought that writing in "BALD CYCLIST" is the right choice.) If he did already vote, I'm guessing he voted for the TAD.

I'm stumped as to how someone can run for the county commission and not know the issues. We know how the current commission feels...they put it on the ballot. I imagine they are laughing it up at how stupid Fayette County must be to not even discuss this issue. Steve's people have gotten so focused on the SPLOST/Bypass issue, that they don't see it happening again under a differenet name.

AtHomeGym
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Jevank, Brown & TAD

He doesn't live in F'ville, so why would he be voting on the TAD? If F'ville approves it, then the BOE and County Commission both would have to approve before any tax dollars would be shifted. Generally, I would not favor shifting dollars from Education to Retail ventures. The State Legislature is doing enough to withhold Education funding!

jevank
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Gym

The whole county votes on this because funds will be diverted from places we all pay taxes for. All of Fayette County will be affected by funds being diverted from The Board of Education and The Fayette County Commission.

jevank
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Hmmm

Looking at the article, you may be right. From what I researched about TADs, I believe the whole county should have a say.

This may not be a legal way to do this. I wish I had time to research, but the next few days are very busy for me. Hopefully, Fayetteville will vote against this until everyone is fully informed.

hutch866
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JEVANK

bur he will discuss dead issues like a SPLOST that we voted down, and that the commission had no control over once it was on the ballot. This is one of his campaign issues?

EXPRESS YOUR DISPLEASURE AT OUR CHOICES FOR COMMISSIONER, WRITE IN BALD CYCLIST FOR COMMISSIONER.