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20 Comments

  1. 1

    Murph

    But the Mayor says this was a good deal for the city. I’m confused. https://brookhavenpost.co/brookhaven-mayor-explains-hawks-emory-tax-abatement-deal/39390/

  2. 2

    Ted P

    I guess Rader is lumping Dekalbs DA as well?

  3. 3

    Janine

    This feels like the US Congress, all US vs. THEM and the biggest losers are the citizens. Stinky politics all the way around.

  4. 4

    Whew, it\'s hot!

    Developers should pay for their development, government should make sure that infrastructure is maintained and readily available to take on new development, if any DA is approached for abatements or bonds all jurisdictions effected should be a part of the process. Simple as that.

  5. 5

    Danny

    Jeff is right, the school system, city and county governments have got to find a way to work together.
    If I had my druthers DA’s wouldn’t even exist but I am realistic enough to know that will never happen. Take Town Brookhaven for example, Sembler rode that abatement for years reaping the benefit of lower taxes then sold it off as it was getting closer to maturing. Sembler should have had to write a big fat check from the profits of the sale to make up the tax savings they had pocketed. There should be a defined time frame upfront that requires a holding period up to and after the abatement expiration. This would deter the initial “ask” for incentives knowing that with it comes a much longer ownership term commitment.
    This would also help take the full burden off the tax payers and stop developers from walking away with all the advantages.

  6. 6

    RAJ

    No need to be confused! First off, Jeff is the MOST anti city commissioner on the BOC….just can’t stand cities! Second he attended the last DeKalb Development Authority Board meeting, sat right in front of me, which does exactly the same thing and collects comparable fees…what’s the beef! Well its a question of who gets the fees! And most developers prefer to do business with the party with the better reputation…cities. It’s who can cut the best deal fastest and who has the best reputation….Jeff hates playing on a level playing field. And let’s talk about illegal impact fees in DeK alb County where Kathy and Jeff are asking Neighborhood Civic Associations and their affiliates to solicit developers to pay into unlisted line item accounts with the County, money to be spent on infrastructure projects outside the developers property. When someone ask me” RAJ how do I issue an RFP on this one?”well I just about jumped out of my shorts!” I’m sure as hell not using my CID engineer! Probably better to go thru legal channels and avoid another ethics complaint!

  7. 7

    All for impact fees!

    There should be impact fees in DeKalb and all municipalities within DeKalb. Especially on large commercial development.

  8. 8

    Alicia

    Dear Jeff,
    POT, KETTLE, BLACK. DeKalb County does the same thing. Clean up your own glass house first. I’ll be happy to sell you the Windex.

  9. 9

    RAJ

    Break time…..had to refill this 2007 Noval Vintage Port. Jeff does not factor in that North Side city homeowners are just getting killed by higher tax assessments this year, the tax increases far,far off setting any tax abatements!

  10. 10

    RAJ

    I think Jeff will find this issue less interesting when Bill Floyd’s annexation map for Central is published in about two weeks, not much of unincorporated DeKalb County worth abating!

  11. 11

    RAJ

    Yes…impact fees would be great if they were legal but how do you explain them to an auditor when they are NOT! DeKalb County…..Culture of Corruption!

  12. 12

    Steve Walker

    Had Brookhaven not done the deal with the Hawks facility, Dekalb County would have. Rader just ticked off Brookhaven won out over the County. Didnt the County do the same thing at Perimeter Summit within Brookhaven City limits thus stripping Revenue from Brookhaven??

  13. 13

    Saul

    So the citizens of Brookhaven got screwed twice?

  14. 14

    Ellen

    What is your source of this info? Please share more about this.

  15. 15

    Ellen

    Dear Jeff, Unincorporated Dekalb County sucks. Lived there 20 years before moving here. Never once saw a Dekalb County police officer patrolling my neighborhood in all that time. Screw Dekalb County.

  16. 16

    Redevelopment Powers 101

    The BDA, CDA and Decide DeKalb have legally abated hundreds of millions of dollars in DeKalb County School District Tax Revenue. They have many millions more planned. We just overwhelmingly voted for E-SPLOST the 5th consecutive time since 1997. It is needed to refill the coffers of DCSD abated tax revenues. Brookhaven and Chamblee Development Authorities aren’t ground zero for tax abatements, but Decide DeKalb, Invest Atlanta and CobbEdge are. They are all guilty of legally robbing our children’s operational budgets. Imagine the tax hit you will receive when HOST passes in November and you lose your property tax freeze…What? Read it.

    MARTA has a budget 15 times the size of Brookhaven’s, just reissued $248M of bonds saving them $80M per year and gets a 1% sales tax from all of DeKalb County (in addition to the 1% we committed to schools via overwhelming majority). Why do they need $15M for infrastructure not needed without their development from Brookhaven? Many more such abatements are planned.

    The only portion of Eric’s accurate synopsis of Development Authorities’ giving me pause is “the Brookhaven Development Authority has offered to open a dialog with the County on the disposition of the Administrative Payments, but they would remain in control”. Sadly, that does nothing for DeKalb County Schools. The only solution is unwinding all statewide hi yield revenue bonds issued by Development Authorities. Coupled with pension reform, a powerful two pronged negotiation could be exactly what our school districts need. What a legacy HD 80, 81 and 82 along with and SD 40 could leave. The pieces are in place. Hopefully, the courage will follow.

  17. 17

    Tom Doolittle

    Rader should testify to the lack of transparency and accountability of finance authorities., county and city. The public needs an education and fellow commissioners should be put on the spot as to whether they favor them or not. The point is, the questions related to finance authorities should be discussed by elected leaders in public.

    One has to wonder what has caused small cities (and new large ones with limited “matching” millage) to jump into the economic development incentives fray. The benefits of doing so have always been there. Did they take a seminar recently or something? Have state agencies been pushing them all of a sudden?
    This cannot simply be a matter of lack of focus by DeKalb–or the goodies of “paybacks”–its sudden and accelerating.

  18. 18

    Easy Rider

    Yes, I think that is exactly the point. This deal was good for the city and not the county. Personally, I want the city of Brookhaven, not the county, making tax abatement decisions for developments in Brookhaven.

  19. 19

    bldvl89

    If you really want to see Development Authorities running amok, look no further west along I-285 than to Cobb County’s “Field of Schemes.”

    Thanks to their D.A., Cobb taxpayers are paying $400 mil – without nary a public vote – to bring the Braves there (which makes Brookhaven and the Hawks at $36 mil look like chump change). What’s ridiculous is that the Cobb public voted overwhelmingly in 2008 to approve a referendum increasing taxes to pay for additional parks; that money – $40 mil – was raised, but then spent on the Braves’ deal.

    Now Cobb residents are being told that if they want those parks they voted for in 2008, they’re going to have to pay more taxes going forward – because there’s no money from the 2008 referendum left:

    http://deadspin.com/cobb-county-needs-to-raise-taxes-to-pay-for-public-park-1780832038

  20. 20

    Tom Doolittle

    I don’t understand why this statement from Rader is true:
    “Remember that City Development Authorities exempt their clients from all taxes on property, not just their city’s taxes.”

    If it is true, then clearly needs to be changed. I can understand why a city’s development authority legally can enjoin its own government’s taxes, but how does it get to do that with county agencies without a sign off or contract?

    A It’s like these people have just realized this and why not milk, milk, milk?

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