July 24, 2017
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23 Comments on "Opinion: Chamblee can lower tax rate by focusing on larger revenue sources"

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Thomas Porter
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Thomas Porter

You had me until Buford Highway redevelopment. I love that road, seedy and pithy the way it is now.

ellen
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ellen

You had me at “lower tax rate”.

Easy Rider
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Easy Rider

City property tax rates are miniscule compared to what DeKalb county collects. Perhaps it makes sense to encourage commercial development along the areas you describe. However, if you really want to lower residential property taxes we need to get more involved with DeKalb county government. Good luck to us.

PCG Realtor
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PCG Realtor

How do tax abatements lasting 20 years like Whole Foods, Town Brookhaven, CHOA, Hawks Players Facility, Chamblee TOD, etc, increase commercial tax revenues?

Is there any real-estate banking risks taken when Phantom Bonds are issued, or commercial real estate loans are issued in the form of revenue bonds for the sake of ‘redevelopment’?

Will the Whole Foods tax abatement structure change now that the Memorandum of Understanding states the development can only be used for Whole Foods, which is now Amazon? Will Amazon eliminate the building, or sublease the half of the anchor tenant space they don’t need?

Toff
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Toff

Politicking 101, tell people you are going to lower their taxes to get elected. I agree with making Chamblee more business friendly, it suffers from a reputation of being hard to do business with in terms of getting permits, buildings up to code etc. Hope that is changing.

RJ3
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RJ3

Imagine how much lower our tax rates could be if there wasn’t an unaccountable group giving away millions in tax dollars for the purpose of building new apartment complexes. Imagine if the developments adding thousands of cars to our roads actually had to pay for needed improvements to those roads. Imagine if housing complexes adding kids to overcrowded schools actually had to pay taxes to fund those schools.

Van, will you at least pledge not to take a single penny in assistance from the developers you gave so much to?

NTH
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NTH

So how do you plan on explaining lowering residents taxes when you give away all of our taxes to developers in the way of tax abatements? Not too hypocritical at all. SMH

pat
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pat

“Create a Business Friendly environment.” Specifics?

“•Focus on the undervalued commercial properties. ” How? Specifics?

Saul
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Saul

LOL! Eminent domain! Then sell to a worthy developer! That’s what Brookhaven would do!

Van Pappas
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Van Pappas
@Pat. Good Question. On creating a business friendly environment, we have to look at 2 aspects. One, is the Code too restrictive. I would say no. While there might be some minor tweeks that could be made to parts of the code, I believe it is important to maintain high standards. The second is to look at the process. How easy is it to do business in our city. I will applaud our City Clerk, I have seen the Clerk’s office get better each year. Moving more processes online for the Clerk’s office would be an additional change we could… Read more »
Jack Smith
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Jack Smith

Converting zoned commercial to zoned multifamily residential and then giving multi-year tax breaks by the DDA does not line up with this heart of this article. Two examples are Olmstead which sits on former commercial site and the adjacent development at the former Nissan site commercial. Both received generous tax abatements and both are on former commercial sites.

Van Pappas
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Van Pappas
@Jack. I appreciate your comments and welcome the opportunity to do a little educating. Please note that the areas mentioned in the article are outside of the Chamblee Downtown corridor. The City does have a Downtown Authority that can give abatements, but the City does not have the ability to give abatements outside of the designated Downtown. Improving vacant lots, like the corner of Chamblee-Tucker/Buford Hwy or Chamblee-Dunwoody/Buford Hwy or the slab where the burned down Bombay Grill on Savoy, will absolutely generate more revenue for the City. There were some comments on Nextdoor on this same topic and I… Read more »
Jack Smith
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Jack Smith
Thanks for the comments and clarifications. I would just add the abatements for the multifamily housing projects disproportionately affects dekalb schools rather than the city revenues. It is just a mistake in my opinion to incentivize high impact multifamily while both reducing future county school revenues via rezoning from commercial to residential as well as adding addition students to an already over crowded system. Even though the units are mostly designed for singles, children will be residents of some of the units. Dekalb spends almost 9,000 per student per year and there is simple no additional capacity at all grade… Read more »
Chambleere
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Chambleere
Jack – The City and the DDA use the arrows we have in our quiver to spur economic growth in our city. Each project was different and each abatement was to solve a financial problem that helped lure development to the area. The overall idea is that you provide incentives to generate growth so that you don’t have to provide incentives anymore. Some folks will always disagree with tax incentives and that is certainly their right. For every project that received some sort of assistance from the DDA, there are two others that did not (Parkview on Peachtree, The Malone,… Read more »
Jack Smith
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Jack Smith

You are entitled to your very long winded and preachy opinion it even if it is deeply flawed.

Eddie E.
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Eddie E.

Agreed. If the project has merit, let the ‘market’ fund it.

Enuff Govt Already
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Enuff Govt Already
Something I noticed, “our best guess” and “Pretty freaking cool if you ask me. You can now catch folks walking up and down the street to dinner and hanging out at our local bars”. A best guess on tax abatements,et al; wow! And just why is it pretty freaking cool to see people walking up and down the street and hanging out at local bars on the west side of the MARTA tracks but considered an eyesore or a problem when seen east of the MARTA tracks? Why no abatements for businesses or developments over there? Everything done by the… Read more »
Ellen
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Ellen

Who said they were an eyesore on the east side? You are reading something into his statements that wasn’t there.

Van Pappas
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Van Pappas

@Enuff,
Mayor and Council designated the geographical area of Downtown as the area between the two Peachtrees. The DDA does not have the authority to help outside of that area. Other than a small area where International Village was suppose to be, the east side of the MARTA is not in the map.

Eddie E.
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Eddie E.

Any chance of shrinking that further?

Eddie E.
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Eddie E.

Having had a thriving business in Chamblee for over 30 years, I don’t know what needs to be more ‘friendly’…..
Oh yeah, it might make sense to not put high density residential into areas that have been ‘industrial’ or ‘commercial’ for over 50 years.

NTH
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NTH

I agree double E. I have found chamblee to be very business friendly. And they have done a good job of maintaining commercial on the first floor of all the areas you reference as having always been commercial. Now if Van and his cronies would stop giving away our tax dollars we might actually see a tax benefit from all of this progress. Just saying

Eddie E.
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Eddie E.

Only problem is how many JOBS can they stuff into the first floor and how many of those will pay the mortgage?

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