DeKalb County, GA, December 16, 2015 – The Post Reports – DeKalb County Superintendent, Dr. R. Stephen Green, said in a Tuesday statement regarding a request for the DeKalb County School District to participate in a TAD to redevelop the former GM Plan in Doraville, “I have several serious reservations about committing school resources over the course of the 25 years of the TAD for this project.”
Earlier in the day Tuesday, the AJC reported DeKalb County Commissioners voted unanimously to invest in the redevelopment. Read more about that here.
“The TAD would produce approximately $247 million that would be used to fund infrastructure improvements such as roads, a tunnel, and other public projects,” said Green. “The debt including debt service of approximately $600 million for these improvements would be paid for with tax revenue above what is collected currently in the area.”
Green noted his “serious reservations” as:
- Our core business is teaching and learning, not speculative, unpredictable real estate projects.
- Two of the three current TADs in DeKalb County have not succeeded in meeting their tax revenue projections. The Kensington and Briarcliff TADs have decreased in tax digest value since their inception with Kensington showing a decrease in excess of 20 percent.
- After several years, the ongoing inability of the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Public Schools to fulfill their intergovernmental agreement based on a TAD for the financing of the Beltline project demonstrates how unforeseen pitfalls can be costly to the local school system.
- The school tax digest for the Doraville TAD would be fixed for 25 years with a best case scenario of nine more additional years before the School District would recoup taxes that had been given up.
“We are expected to be good stewards of our resources and I think making a 25-year commitment to freezing the school tax digest does not fulfill that commitment,” added Green.