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16 Comments

  1. 1

    CMRC

    Finally. Someone in Dekalb schools has a spine, and real experience how fantasy land schemes can bite back hard. And hurt.

  2. 2

    Tina Oneil

    The issue for me is that Doraville is way out of its league in this one. You have to be out of your minds to think that this city is capable of this. And guess what. Integral is neck deep in Brookhavens MARTA redevelopment. Look it up. Speculative devious ya on the taxpayer dime. The entire structure of a TAD is a bet on the future. They learns nothing from Nostradamas.

  3. 3

    Eddie E.

    Thank you Dr. Green.

    One would assume that the Bush Depression is fresh enough on everyone’s mind to avoid pointless speculation with the People’s money.

  4. 4

    Kim

    “Without the school system contribution, the $100 million in bonds that Doraville and DeKalb can underwrite can be used to leverage sums from various agencies. ” … unless I’m mistaken the County has said it’s investment was contingent on DCSD participating. If the County funds the TAD as designed, they are reversing.

  5. 5

    Redevelopment Powers 101

    Bush tried to limit the power of FNMA and Freddie Mac. Those two Non-Governmental Organizations….or Authorities… encouraged and subsidized unsustainable borrower standards to increase home ownership. Most of the investment banks involved in fulfilling their wishes merged or disappeared and have paid back all of their bail out money. FNMA and Freddie Mac? $200B that still hasn’t been paid back and still guaranteed by the government. The same real estate speculation is now occurring via Authority Revenue Bonds that avoid the ballot box for multi family mixed use. It’s a bubble.

    Big Short? Sure. Hollywood’s liberal version of the financial crisis. Never are FNMA and Freddie Mac mentioned. Their government subsidized home ownership scheme artificially inflated demand.

    Bush depression? Good grief. Take a finance class….please.

  6. 6

    Eric Robert

    I’d be more open to a TAD limited to the Brownfield site on the grounds that its cleaning up a Brownfield and better than greenfield development because it makes better use existing infrastructure – such as MARTA. The problem is they expanded the boundaries of the TAD to areas that are currently being used and don’t represent a clean up site.

    In otherwords the boundaries have jumped the shark from being at least partially about remediation so that it is now more about government funded gentrification in order to make politicians and connected folks cash. This certainly isn’t unique – after all GDOT is perhaps the biggest player in government subsidized development and unfortunately that tended to be sprawl type development that rather than re-use or remediate previous uses plowed down forests and increased traffic and gas used in the region.

  7. 7

    tom doolittle

    Kim–I’m researching this. I can’t find where a DeKalb official has actually commented on that (AJC or Champion)–and I don’t interview for these opinion pieces.
    The Doraville city manager has paraphrased from the current form of the IGA as saying that there is a clause that says the county would “withdraw its support”–not clear what that means–“support” for what?

    It has been very difficult to get the most recent IGAs because it changes almost biweekly. I can still foresee revisions.

    I admit that I am quite skeptical about the way Doraville is using the notion of DeKalb not participating in the TAD as a way to influence the school system’s position. As DeKalb’s continued participation goes, I’d give it 80-20 chance that the county will take advantage of the fact that it doesn’t have to do its own bonds to get ANYTHING going at the GM site. It will indeed participate, no matter what. It doesn’t care if the New Urbanist Dream is done or something else.

  8. 8

    tom doolittle

    Here is the statement in the latest AJC article regarding DeKalb participation–very tricky and worded carefully likely because they either didn’t interview or didn’t get a direct answer–so no quote from a DeKalb official.

    “The City of Doraville, which contains the site, had agreed to the TAD. DeKalb County commissioners have also agreed to the TAD, with the caveat that they would participate if the school district agreed to join.”

    BTW–the first sentence implies that Doraville was signing on to a DeKalb agreement–as if reacting. This is misleading–it’s Doraville’s TAD–they have led, they control it, they own the bonds. The only reason they didn’t write the IGA is because they don’t have the expertise.

    This is probably the biggest thing that makes the Doraville TAD a constant fit and start (including bi-weekly IGA revisions. The smallest and least capable jurisdiction is “running” the largest–tail wagging dog.

  9. 9

    Redevelopment Powers 101

    Great article, Tom. Good for you, Dr. Green.

  10. 10

    tom doolittle

    Thanks–there are many aspects to this I wasn’t able to cover–I keep these under 850 words and 750 is best.

    One:
    Dr. Green is remarkably close to the arguments in the Supreme Court case that Fulton County Taxpayer Assn brought against APS in the Beltline TAD lawsuit–the argument lost. School board members all over Georgia have probably wanted to say these things–maybe someone will take another swing at this, particularly during the next Recession (bigger “R” coming).

    Two:
    Its a bit misleading for TAD advocates to refer to the Atlantic Station TAD when selling the school system on the idea because school systems were automatically included in TADs at the time the first phase Atlantic Station TAD was approved. The law was changed to require a school board vote in 2008 as a result of the FIRST Beltline lawsuit.

    Three:
    DCSD participation has come out of the woodwork so fast, that no-one has reflected on the primary complaint by school classroom advocates against DCSD for the past 10 years. What is that complaint? THAT NOT ENOUGH OF OUR TAXES GO TO CLASSROOMS!!!!
    Now we go diverting MORE classroom money to Doraville’s few hundred acres in the sun…and not to be outdone, we’d be “forced” politically to have TADs in other parts of the county (and school system participation) to be “equitable”.

    Side:
    It’d be interesting to see precisely what the Kansas City TAD problems were that gives Dr. Green pause.

  11. 11

    enuff govt already

    A TAD is a politician’s dream. The taxes that are collected are under their control and spent as they see fit in the TAD area.

  12. 12

    Toff

    Great article Tom. Dr Green should receive a knighthood. Oh wait, wrong country.

  13. 13

    Eddie E.

    Reinstate Glass-Steagall and see if that sort of fiasco ever happens again..

    But this has exactly what to do with putting the Taxpayers on the hook for a dubious project (set of projects that are carefully interwoven to obfuscate transparency)?

  14. 14

    Redevelopment Powers 101

    If you’re interested in the current California trend of not funding sports facilities. Wonder how Parks and Recreation Authorities work?
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/cities-rethink-sports-stadium-deals-1452734069

  15. 15

    I.S.I.

    Great research, Tom. Thank you for your work.

  16. 16

    Red

    “Our core business is teaching and learning, not speculative, unpredictable real estate projects.” Excruciatingly logical. Wish other local government bodies would all stick to their core missions, too.

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