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74 Comments

  1. 1

    Redevelopment Powers 101

    Crony Capitalism. Picking Winners and Losers. Unaccountable to the taxpayer. Now you begin to get the picture? Great Article Post.

    $8.2M in principal and interest payments over 15 years. Not much play in the rudder, Mate.

    The first response you’ll get from the City of Chamblee is, “The taxpayer isn’t obligated to one dime of this debt.” First, read article about services not supported. Second, when the subsidized multi family market comes crashing down, the City of Chamblee General Fund is on the hook. What about our parks? What about new police cars? What about paving my neighborhood? “What about it?” replies the Development Authority.

    The entire charade is based on the concept the tangential property will increase in value to make up for lost taxes. Anybody checked the 17 of 19 neighborhoods connected to the Beltline that decreased in property value last year…while all of Atlanta increased?

    Does anyone not think MARTA is offering this deal to Decide DeKalb for the MARTA TOD right now? Or us? You get what you get.

  2. 2

    Riley OConnor

    “Transparency”. So easy to say. So hard to do.

  3. 3

    Jean

    Thank you for penetrating the tangle of issues involved in tax abatements. We had no idea of the magnitude of public money devoted to these projects. Opening DDA and City actions to scrutiny will help everyone understand what is at stake. Lets all try and attend their meetings and learn what is going on. There is no reason Chamblee should be anything other than a good place for all to live.

  4. 4

    Saul

    Those properties are valuable and capable of being developed without tax abatement’s of any kind and still be very profitable for the developer. Amateurs (your elected officials not legally responsible for their actions) will gladly spend your money. And they did. Just watch, the citizens will be ignorant to just what hit them in the wallet. They are all happy they have a Whole Foods to shop at. Mr. Causey has served the developers well at the expense of Chamblee citizens.

  5. 5

    Flubber

    But were they getting developed before this? They really weren’t. A lot of eyesores will be eliminated in Chamblee as a result of this development.

  6. 6

    bldvl89

    So what does a Development Authority typically do with the “administrative fees” paid to it, in lieu of taxes to the city?

    I tried to google the answer to this question and this website was the top hit: http://www.cviog.uga.edu/ggfoawebinars/tax-abatements.pdf.

    Of course, the answer was nowhere to be found in the 36 pages of this presentation. But what I did find interesting were the two presenters: the same Chamblee DDA bond lawyer from Seyfarth Shaw, and the good old Carl Vinson Institute – upon which so much of cityhood in neighboring jurisdictions was premised.

  7. 7

    Saul

    Flubber, someone or some entity was paying taxes. How about continuing as was until the property was developed without taxpayer assistance? Or do you just like giving money away needlessly? Obviously, you do.

  8. 8

    enuff govt already

    If I remember right, down in Avondale it turned out the ex-mayor owed property in their downtown area that their DDA was interested in or controlled. And of course the DDA appointments were political……The concept of secrecy or excutive session has really started to stretch it originally intended purpose. All quasi govt authorities need more sunshine.

  9. 9

    Eddie E.

    Having been paying taxes in Chamblee for over 30 years, trendy development has never been one of my concerns.
    Of course, I have seen plenty of stupid ideas go bust during that time as well.

  10. 10

    The Brookhaven Post

    I have an Open Records Request filed for the DDAs full financial record.

  11. 11

    Bob

    So they’re adding hundreds of apartments to an already overcrowded school district, and they’re not paying a penny in taxes to the schools?

  12. 12

    NTM

    Wait Ed, you are a Chamblee resident?

  13. 13

    roll over

    Chamblee citizens allow these sort of shenanigans up at city hall by not holding elected officials accountable.
    Looks to be a good amount of graft & cronyism going on in this little ole’ town hiding behind the shroud diversity.
    Half the population doesn’t even speak english in their homes. They hardly understand our government.
    Makes it soooo easy!
    Great job Post.
    But honestly,… the citizens should be up at city hall in large numbers requesting open records, transparency & the truth!!

  14. 14

    RAJ

    Tax incentives have their place in the scheme of economic development, but the problem is the developers always ask for the MAX and no one negotiates the best deal for the taxpayer. Let’s see what “creative financing” the developer comes up with next on the troubled GM development.

  15. 15

    Eddie E.

    Chamblee business owner.
    You know, fixed address, pay taxes.
    Unlike the ‘consumers’ of these abatements who will be on to the next slurping ground when this one dries up.

  16. 16

    Redevelopment Powers 101

    Love your comments, RAJ, but there is no empirical evidence anywhere these ‘economic developments’ benefit the taxpayer in anyway. There are far stronger arguments the City of Chamblee tax payer is going to pay for the privilege of shopping at Whole Foods via subsidized services and lost tax payments. The privilege is to the $25B revenue publicly held company. Not to mention the multi family apartment owner.

    If taxes are too high to develop, then lower the taxes for everyone. Simply because the voter isn’t large enough to be a ‘class’ in a class action lawsuit, doesn’t deprive them of the honesty they asked for when they voted.

    When will someone sue these Development Authorities at the Supreme Court level? When will the blanket be pulled off the cesspool of political real estate bargaining?

  17. 17

    Eddie E.

    “the properties were not living up to their full potential”………..If that means their ‘full potential to fleece those paying property taxes’ I guess that statement is true.

    Considering the lightning speed with which any rezoning/redevelopment can be proposed and approved in the City of Chamblee and the limited amount of interest the Council pays to Citizen concerns it all comes into focus.

    All the more reason to be very concerned when ‘enough’ members of a governing body are involved in real estate related enterprise.

  18. 18

    NTM

    We don’t agree on much but same here. I got no discounts on my taxes

  19. 19

    Redevelopment Powers 101

    Local Municipalities are subsidizing and feeding the multi family apartment complex market in the EXACT same way Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fed the home mortgage market. Cheap money going from dumb money to smart money. You won’t hear that in The Big Short because Hollywood doesn’t want to explain that part. The house of cards grows.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/distorted-markets-why-banks-are-better-off-than-you-think-and-real-estate-isnt-1459358253?mod=trending_now_5

  20. 20

    Flubber

    Sure, if you like driving by eyesore brownfields day after day.

  21. 21

    Bob Sorrentino

    FYI Fannie and Freddie account for over 30% of the loans for multifamily so they are getting plenty of action there too.

  22. 22

    Toff

    Bottom line is these developments would not have got done without the tax breaks. Yes its unfair on the residential homeowner and small business owner but these guys are ponying up tens of millions to build these places and they have to be incentivized.
    These places were a wasteland and now Chamblee is going to overtake the cool factor in Brookhaven.
    Take a look at home sales/listings in Sexton Woods which is partly in Brookhaven and partly in Chamblee. Homes that sold under 6 months ago for 680K are being built (same home) and listed for 780K. Same home., 100K increase in 6 months and they are getting it. All due to the location and school district.
    Once Mr and Mrs Muckety Muck can walk from their McMansion to Whole Foods and let little Muckety muck play in the pocket park the homes are going to go up even more. Then we will see who complains about tax abatement’s.

    My only disappointment is the lack of disclosure by Chamblee. Its poor form. The council and the residents have been criticizing Trinity for their tax abatement and lack of progress on Chamblee Plaza but Whole Foods comes in and its radio silence.

  23. 23

    Eddie E.

    You could have stopped at “these developments would not have got done without the tax breaks”.
    That suggests that without a referendum of approval for the tax breaks, they should not have been done.

  24. 24

    Disgusted

    A down cycle will never come. Apartment rents will go up forever. There is no need for worry. Millenials will flock to the new shiny apartments and pay full price forever. Now how much equity ownership would you like to buy, Mr. Muckety Muck?

  25. 25

    Tom Doolittle

    You have friends–tax incentives are now a part of many news outlets reporting on major developments. So the articles will add an angle on this to the usual celebratory aspects of the Growth Manifesto.

    Cottage industry this type of reporting. As Trey is doing here, you’ll see local websites reporting deals that won’t make it into big new outlets like “AJC and the Braves”–or whatever “whales” are being announced.
    Of course the emphasis on publication is more “right to know”, open govt and simply citizen education. People should be aware that the inner lining of finance authorities’ existence is Shadow Government–government outside of public accountability (you don’t get to vote for these people).

    However, publicists are not “activists”. Activists, whether nonprofits that are staffed (public interest associations) or “pedestrians” like readers here shop the info at the street level and build purposeful critical mass. The key for activists will be to coordinate publicity between jurisdictions.

    Friends:
    http://www.commoncause.org/states/georgia/?referrer=https://www.google.com/
    http://transparencyprojectofgeorgia.com/
    http://savannahnow.com/column/2015-03-08/editors-note-open-government-training-here-desperately-needed#

    etc

  26. 26

    Tom Doolittle

    This will take the transparency and accountability to the next level for smaller competing jurisdictions–thus far a trick rarely used except large projects billed as “semi-public” venues:
    http://saportareport.com/ga-supreme-court-ruling-casts-pall-over-cobb-county-funding-of-braves-stadium/

    What this does is takes away the excuse that revenue bonds aren’t a liability to the general fund. (Of course its nonsense anyway–the Georgia Constitution counts revenue bonds against a city’s bonding limit).
    In the Braves case, the IGA between Cobb and the Convention Authority forces the government to make the Braves payments, whether the Braves payments are sufficient to cover the bond liability or not.

  27. 27

    Jennifer

    Apartment rents go up…. yes overall the NEW apartment rents are higher than the last NEW apartment rents. Renters move to new apartments when their leases are up or to a home when they are ready. Older apartment buildings the rent goes down. 20 years ago there were new and trendy apartments on Buford Highway. What will happen to Peachtree in 20 years when the current residents move to the new hot spot or have moved on to buy houses? That is my problem with building until there is a glut. Plan ahead is what we keep hearing. Buckhead has seen an 8% drop since the last quarter of 2015. The tide is turning and we are now just starting to build…. not good to be the last ones to the table.

  28. 28

    Toff

    Its not really a tax break.

    In the Whole Foods, example they are wiping out the cost to to repay him for the construction costs associated with relocating and adding utilities, a traffic signal, grading, an underground detention system, and brownfield remediation on the portion of the site, which was formerly Oxford Chemicals.

    The argument that the abated tax is needed for the new influx of people is weak. Those people will be growing the Chamblee economy (and tax base) through increased local spending and generation of jobs.

    Life in the big city Eddie.

  29. 29

    Toff

    No doubt another down cycle will come. But is that a reason to NOT build? Lets have faith and optimism in the American dream!

  30. 30

    Tom Doolittle

    Then there is the recognized aspects of Georgia being on the wrong side of history–the worst of the worst–and much of this has to do with the unique manner in which a one party state remained a one party state, even as it went from Dem to Rep–there is built in accountability in having competitive two-party government (Virginia went from Blue Dog Dem to a two party state 30 years ago and the public hasn’t suffered).

    https://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/03/19/8427/georgia-worst-score-country

    Whether developer friendly or just your average Wild Wild West, Georgia’s public interest has deteriorated since 2000. Legislature continues to chip away year after year at open government related to economic development (again The Growth Manifesto). These guys actually tried to allow developers to establish Eminent Domain 10 years ago–excessive enough even libertarian conservative had to put a stop to it.

    Entries on progressively secret econ dev law:
    2005 http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2005/02/19/met_443639.shtml#.Vv1HLRFVhBc
    2011 http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/news/story/2011/mar/03/georgia-bill-would-keep-business-location-talks-se/43869/

    Now we see:
    2016 attempt
    http://www.nfoic.org/advocates-bill-could-shield-too-much-georgia-open-records-law

    Not often is it so easy to trace the Slippery Slope (these guys are in such a hurry, makes following them child’s play)

  31. 31

    The Brookhaven Post

    Thanks for the comment Toff. Using the same principle on a smaller scale, when I purchase a lot and want to build a home there, I too will be contributing to the local economy via my purchases, etc. AND I get to pay my fair share of taxes. Should I then expect the Government to abate my taxes or pay for my lot prep and any remediation that may be found there? Of course I would not expect that and they would laugh at me if I asked. The point here is that the playing field is not equal. And I am not a $15.39 Billion dollar corporation with $5.7 billion in assets. So who am I right? But even more to the point of my writing this article is that the majority of the dealings of City Governments and the authorities they create, when dealing with real estate, can do their business with no or little public scrutiny. I personally think that is wrong. And I think that more people should call attention to any business their government engages in that they have to be at the right place at the right time to find out about – if even then they can find out whats going on. –Trey

  32. 32

    Jennifer

    There was a presentation in March of last year to the Brookhaven Development Authority and how things could be done since redevelopment powers were voted down by the residents (read how to get around that they were voted down). The presentation was on Georgia Law Regarding Developoment Authorities – by Edward Wall and Earle R. Taylor III. It’s woth a watch here is the link to the video: http://brookhavencityga.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=1366

  33. 33

    Resident

    No one covers DeKalb like the Post.

  34. 34

    Ted Gordon

    I also would like to know what the DDA does with the money (administrative fees) it receives.

  35. 35

    Jennifer

    another point made by the duo listed above.. that said that Tax Abatements were to be used to lure projects that would go to another location / city / county without them. So with this reasoning in mind… MARTA should NEVER get a Tax Abatement to build out their parking lots… it’s not like they can take them somewhere else!

  36. 36

    Toff

    Trey – great article, I really appreciate what you do and uncovering Chamblee hiding this is a big deal.

    In response to your scenario, I think residential and commercial are simply different. Yes you and I as homeowners pay taxes, spend money and contribute to the local economy and have zero chance of getting tax abatements. However, commercial owners take on significantly more risk and without incentives these things just wont happen. I would also point out that Whole Foods (love em or hate em) didnt start out as a $15.39 billion dollar enterprise. Many large businesses start out as mom and pops and need these type of incentives.

    Regarding the real estate angle, we all knew Clarkson was in real estate. I would be interested to hear your views on Causey and Kusman, it seems interesting that they both got in this game recently. I am not insinuating that any of them are benefiting in any way but its interesting timing.

  37. 37

    The Brookhaven Post

    The Open Records Request I filed yesterday will hopefully help explain that. I received a response from the City of Chamblee already (their City Clerk BTW is awesome) that they are not the keepers of the DDA’s financials. My Open Records Request was also sent to the DDA so they must be working on it. They are usually responsive as well. They have a few days by law to get back to me so stay tuned. Thanks, Trey

  38. 38

    Chambleeite

    It may be interesting to note that it has been reported that there are not any established criteria set by the DDA to provide tax abatements. It is a if it feels good do it mentality that the DDA has taken.

    It will be very interesting the spin that Eric Clarkson and the chairman of the development authority put on this because they along with the city council should be made to explain why this has happened. I feel that there is much more going on than the citizens of Chamblee know about.

    There was an executive session to discuss a real estate transaction this week and it was a called meeting. Every time the city purchases a piece of property it also goes off of the tax roll and this something that Mayor Clarkson is purportedly a big fan of doing.

  39. 39

    Eddie E.

    Yes, the commercial owners take significantly more risk and for that risk they expect to profit, often quite handily.
    Why should the residential taxpayers subsidize ANY of their for-profit enterprise?
    If the existing level of profit is insufficient for the current set of developers, maybe they should get out of the way and leave the work of making a profit to those who are up to the task.

  40. 40

    Eddie E.

    The brownfield remediation SHOULD have been the responsibility of the previous owners and/or whoever purchased their assets and liabilities (like the promise at the ‘troubled’ Doraville site).

    A quick question to those on the defense of subsidizing for profit enterprise, is Chamblee on the hook for any of the costs for the least profitable walmart in the United States?

  41. 41

    Toff

    Residents are not subsidizing anything. Its a tax that would never be collected because nothing would be built. If they “get out of the way” there is no one behind them. Why do you think it took this long to get moving? The economy has been motoring for over 2 years.

  42. 42

    Toff

    Thats a a tough one, regulations change, land use changes, no one knew the intended use till a buyer came along.

    Wal Mart? ugh, the Chamblee location is horrible. I really dont understand why corporate doesnt do something.

  43. 43

    Saul

    What? If a property receives a tax break from its normal assessment, other property owners make up the difference. There is always another developer in the wings sniffing our a deal on any viable commercial property or assemblage. I think you would be shocked to learn the interest the Whole Foods site and adjoining properties has had in the past 25 years.

  44. 44

    Eddie E.

    What regulations have changed to absolve anyone attached to Oxford Chemicals from any contamination related liability?

  45. 45

    Toff

    So much interest in 25 years that no one moved on it? Same as the Old Gatsbys. You could have walked up with monopoly money and bought that in the depth of the recession.
    Its a fantasy that there are all these greedy developers around with bags of money. Its a tough game (and no, I am not a developer or an interested party).

  46. 46

    Toff

    Not sure the even exist. I dont know the history of the ownership but I agree with you that any contaminator should be asked to make good the land or be prosecuted.

  47. 47

    Resident

    This stinks. The city of Chamblee Development Authority is going to steam roll our credit rating.

    Next up. Pat Hoban, Brookhaven Development Authority member, sells his Nally dealership (Del American LLC, the developer) to the Chamblee Development Authority for $11M. It’s good to be connected.

    http://chambleecityga.iqm2.com/citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=15&ID=1181&Inline=True

  48. 48

    The Brookhaven Post

    Agreed. They are different. And the argument can go both ways. There are areas that surely need incentives for economic development. Hard to convince me though that Peachtree Boulevard is one of those areas. The fact that Whole Foods and The Olmsted are positive for the area in many ways is not lost on me. I have been excited to see Chamblee get a shot in the arm as they were long over due. Disappointed that the developers had to get on the government teat to do it. To the real issue I want to expose, the lack of oversight on development authorities and how their business is conducted. Again, I am not alleging any malfeasance here and certainly not suggesting any illegal activity. The system is set up in such a way that development authorities are now competing against each other and they can abate the taxes of multiple jurisdictions…without them even knowing. If a developer doesn’t get what they want from one, they can likely get it from another. And then the whole secrecy over scrutiny argument…boggles the mind.

    In the case of Whole Foods specifically, yes, you are correct. They weren’t always a $15 billion company. But they are now, and I’d be willing to bet that these types of deals and tax abatements, etc., played some role in getting them there. They can afford to build what they need if they really wanted it bad enough, but if the DDA is willing to give it up simply because the developer asked, who is really to blame?

    This link has some great info should you be interested. The first two pages a good overview of how the deal was born. https://www.scribd.com/book/306156479/2015-Peachtree-Crossing-Chamblee-Whole-Foods

    Thank you for reading and participating in the conversation!

    — Trey

  49. 49

    Simple Truth

    Why doesn’t our elected officials and government bodies research those who come before them and then leverage that with what “we” have, need, or want within the community vs. always giving away the farm so quickly?

    Whole Foods wanted a presence in this area. They know it and so do we. They only have 10 stores in all of Georgia with Trader Joes and Sprout on their heels. One of the 3 were coming to the area no matter what. It was a race to see who.

    In 2015 Whole Foods had sales of $15 Billion+ and the first quarter of 2016 they have reported a record $4.8 Billion. Their top 5 executives in 2015 made from $1.5 to $2 million in compensation each. (Exception for John Mackey and if you don’t know his story Google it.) The average employee hourly wage is only $15.00.
    Looks like they can afford to cover their costs and increase their revenues just fine on their own.

    Maybe if we were thought of as SHAREHOLDERS instead of citizens, taxpayers, voters, or the new buzz word, stakeholders, we would get better results and consideration. The funds available to our government has never been theirs to spend as they see fit. It is ours to advocate for and in no way should they be creating new debt by placing it on our backs without input and open communication from us. The scales of justice are not an even playing field.

    What if we all refused to pay our property taxes hence depleting the available funds to government tremendously? Would they listen then? No, because if we don’t pay our property taxes we are evicted and our homes are foreclosed on. Even when we have made every payment on time and now own it free and clear. Taxes, increased taxes, subsidies, abatements, bonds issuances whatever you want to call them always come to us first. Is their ever a “beloved” Carl Vinson study done after the fact to see if the viability of a community is still sustainable based on several years of elected officials decision making? Without raising taxes? Without diminishing services?

    For those who seem to have a concentration on the undesirable “look” or “appearance” of an existing property please at least recognize the bigger picture and indebtedness that is created and always imposed upon the taxpayers. An unsightly property should be having code enforcement addressing the issues and if you don’t like what is in place work to have the codes strengthened, enforcement imposed, and fines collected.

    Our communities and neighborhoods are not BIG CITY environments. We are towns in desirable locations to the city. Take advantage of that simple truth and stop trying to make us anything else.

  50. 50

    Risk Free Gurantee

    What risks do the developer take? They will use a $93M bond issued by the Chamblee Development Authority for construction costs. The Chamblee Development Authority will own the land. The developer will then sublease their buildings to either Whole Foods or renters. If they ever default on their payment to the DA, the City of Chamblee will cough up the missed payment the Development Authority must pay on the bond (implied guarantee). They are hand picked by the Development Authority. They haven’t had to borrow any money on their own. Their LLC will be a stand alone, one project LLC. They can either file for bankruptcy or sell the development for a profit in 3-5 years. All upside, virtually no downside.

    Different story for the City of Chamblee taxpayer.

  51. 51

    What?

    The American Dream of not paying any taxes, getting the government to loan you a bunch of money to build, then selling out before the bond is paid back. You sound like the mortgage brokers in The Big Short.

  52. 52

    thisiswhy

    This is why Spaghetti was such an integral part of the LVH annexation idea. Bondorama for redevelopment. Tricky-Dickies allowed everyone to get distracted by Northlake Mall. The potential in the Cham-Tuck/Embry plus Shallowford once redeveloped would make Northlake an afterthought–BECAUSE 5/6 of it is in Tucker. Tricky-Dicky. Awesome prestidigitin’.

  53. 53

    Eddie E.

    So you agree that no brownfield remediation costs should be a burden to Chamblee taxpayers for this property or any other property to which the contaminants might have migrated?

  54. 54

    RAJ

    Trey…Will you please not insert “junk videos” in the middle of our very important comments. The insert in my comment of a young lady(?) improperly holding a glass of plonk wine and wearing the wrong size bra(I was once in the lingerie business)greatly detracted from the importance of my comment! Thanks

  55. 55

    The Brookhaven Post

    Dont know where that came from. I updated a plugin and apparently it went haywire? Sorry about that.

  56. 56

    Flubber

    Don’t understand this comment at all.

  57. 57

    RAJ

    Lots of people don’t get a LOT of things about North Central DeKalb(LVH/Briarcliff); Chamblee did not understand, people in the Southern end of the LVH Map did not understand, the economic development potential of an area with a $10B Tax digest.

  58. 58

    Flubber

    There were a lot of other issues with that proposed annexation that have already been hashed out infinitum on this site. Bottom line is that Chamblee residents did not want to rush that proposal through with very little time to analyze ALL of the costs, issues, and (most importantly) impact on local control by annexing an area that was larger than the current population. With that $10B tax digest, you should be able to form your own city.

  59. 59

    Eddie E.

    And this article helps to enlighten Chamblee voters why they need to pay very much closer attention to any and all other plans the Mayor and Council might have.

  60. 60

    RAJ

    We tried, but we failed Marketing 101!

  61. 61

    Tom Doolittle

    If you’re serious, read this closely (including comments). Someone write a post about this and start another thread specifically on the reporting rule. One question would be–just because reporting might go into effect, does that mean anyone will use it and pursue it with elected officials?

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-rule-to-lift-veil-on-tax-breaks-1438725046

    BTW–apparently they consider TAD/TIF within this rule. ie: in the same inventory as revenue bond tax abatement (don’t know why)

  62. 62

    Tom Doolittle

    Article is behind a pay-wall, so just Google with terms:
    wsj, GASB, lift veil, August 2015

    “The rule approved Monday by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the municipal equivalent of the board that sets the standards for corporate reporting, will require government officials to show the value of property, sales and income taxes that have been waived under agreements with companies or other taxpayers. It kicks in starting next year (2016)”

    –wierd–the author didn’t cite the rule number or name

  63. 64

    Tom Doolittle

    Chamblee–what is the total tax abatement % compared to tax revenue? That’s the bottom line that has to be tracked every year.

    Also–what is the city constitutional muni bond limit?

  64. 65

    Good Luck

    They are all included because bottom line a bond is issued (liability on the balance sheet) When a bond issued it goes against the municipality’s debt limit cap as well as included in the ratings analysis.

  65. 66

    Tom Doolittle

    Unfortunately TAD bonds don’t lower available bonding capacity–in Georgia anyway. The bonds therefore are rated as “junk”–very high interest rate–3 to 4 % above GO bond rating.

  66. 67

    Good Luck

    Possibly. I was under the assumption the Georgia Constitution included all bonds issued by a DA and the municipality against the bond cap. But there is NO doubt they are included when a credit rating analysis is done for the municipality.

  67. 68

    snowflakes

    Bingo! First time ever I agree with Mr. E!

  68. 69

    Flubber

    Can’t believe that I’d make a truthful comment like this and 5 people would see fit to vote it down.

  69. 70

    Jim

    It pays for bloated, inefficient, not needed office staff and rent on the new office space they’ll need. You know, citizens. Economic Development comes at a price. Your price. Our development. It’s legal. Don’t like it? Who cares?

  70. 71

    Art

    What is so horrible about the Chamblee WalMart, exactly? Please dont say its so terrible because you “cant find a place to park” when there are 800 spaces in the shade right below it and a functioning escalator from there to the main entrance. Is it all the large street trees? The left turn lane and decel/right turn lanes off PIB? The left turn arrow at the light? The multipurpose trail on two sides of the store? The sidewalks? The architecture? The row of brick stores around the site? It is a WalMart, so just compare it to others they have built. Its actually far better, nicer, cleaner and cooler than most others. Or maybe not- tell us what your problem is with that store- we want to know. My problem with it is that they dodged Chamblee’s parking lot tree planting requirement because of having a concrete parking deck. Oh, and the addition of yet another traffic light at the main entrance on Chamblee-Tucker Road, which of course like all traffic lights in Dekalb County is poorly timed- but that is a county issue.

  71. 72

    Art

    When the contaminators of property go bankrupt in this country, they legally escape, typically, unless criminal acts were committed, the financial liability for cleanup. It then becomes the next legal owner’s problem, technically. But in reality it is the community’s problem because cleanup is so insanely expensive and time consuming that no developer will touch it. This is true of numerous old industrial sites in Chamblee and is one reason so many have sat vacant for over 15 years. This is one primary reason the DDA offers abatement to help get these deals done. And since the properties are derelict, and abandoned and undevelopable, they generate very little tax money for anyone and instead are a financial drain on the community in terms of both lost opportunity and actual services like police and fire. Additionally as they were not originally required to provide stormwater detention, streetscape, etc, they are also contributing to environmental harms to the community- for example, downstream flooding, dangerous places, vermin, invasive species, etc. Chamblee residents are TIRED of our city being full of these shitty eyesores and being stuck in a derelict version of gritty industrial 1950’s look and feel. So these are part of the argument FOR Chamblee having a DDA and the State of Georgia law providing for DDAs to have broad powers and NOT be subject to political pressure from a bunch of uninformed whiners. If you hate what is happening here, please Leave.

  72. 73

    Art

    Planning ahead is great and Chamblee does a lot of planning with a woefully tiny amount of public participation. However, planning and public money can only set the table- people and companies with Real money then must decide they will invest. Yet another good, if somewhat indirect, reason to have a DDA stimulating some changes- because nothing breeds success like success, and once the ball is rolling the developers will be much more determined to make things happen in Chamblee. I grew up in Buckhead 45 years ago and can tell you that it looked a lot more like Chamblee did ten years ago that today’s Buckhead. And there were plenty of apartments rhere. In fact, many of them are still there. Some have been redeveloped, some renovated, and some are still chugging along. And this is fine as it allows people of many income levels and lifestyles to live there. Not a terrible problem to have.

  73. 74

    Art

    TAD stands for Tax Allocation District and its possible I’ve missed something but I do not believe it is anything to do with a bond. In a tax allocation disrict the taxing jurisdictions must have all agreed to forgo collection of increased taxes post-redevelopment for a certain length of time, as a way of defraying development costs. As the property in need of redevelopment was producing low tax revenues, the taxing authorities give up nothing they would have had if no redevelopment occurred, and after a while, with redevelopment incentivized and done, they get much more. Thats how they work, though there is much confusion about “lost taxes”. Again, there are no lost tax revenues- they only give up the increased revenues for a while as a way of eventually gaining more potential revenues than they were getting.

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