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Atlanta Beltline Roadblock Removed

Another interesting development from the Nov. 4th election was passage of a constitutional amendment in Georgia allowing more money for Tax Allocation Districts, a form of tax increment financing. The amendment came about after Atlanta’s Beltline parks, trail and transit project was set to use the tool. Says the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

TADs encourage development in blighted areas by freezing tax payments for a period of time. Instead of paying higher taxes when property values rise, developers use the money to pay down project costs. Cities, counties and school districts choose whether to participate in TADs. The tool has helped challenging projects such as Atlantic Station and was part of the financing plan for Atlanta’s Beltline of parks and transit. But in February, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the state’s constitution prohibited TADs from funneling school tax money to redevelopment. Tuesday’s ballot question asked voters to amend the constitution and again allow TADs to tap school money, which represented roughly half the tax subsidy TADs offered.

Kaid Benfield, calling the Beltline one of the country’s best smart growth projects, writes about the project, which had been set to use up to $1.7 billion in TAD funds over several years, and appears set to use the funds now again, with local re-approval:

The 6500-acre BeltLine TAD has received overwhelming support from the community and votes of approval by the Atlanta City Council, the Atlanta Public School Board, and the Fulton County Commission.  The majority of the BeltLine TAD funds will be used to invest in land acquisition, multi-use trails, green space, transit, transportation improvements, affordable workforce housing, and school facilities.  Some BeltLine TAD funds will be used for developer infrastructure, primarily for environmental brownfield cleanup, or to jump-start development in underdeveloped areas.

With this barrier removed, the funding will now need to be re-approved by the Atlanta Schools and City Council.

3 Responses

  1. The Beltline should be a fantastic addition to Atlanta. It kind of reminds me of the greenbelt/road loop phase that much of Europe went through when replacing their city fortification walls. Anywho, I can’t wait until they get this done.

  2. Can you direct me to any information that you have about the “Westside Park” that will one day be in the rock quarry?

    I have not heard anything on this for some time, will it actually happen?

  3. For Westside park, the most recent information I see is from the Beltline Parnership website from June, 2008:

    http://www.beltline.org/Portals/26/PDF/BeltLine%20Projects%20Underway%20Poster%20070908.pdf

    You many want to give them a call or e-mail for more recent info. Westside Park is a cool reuse of a site – hopefully Atlantans can enjoy it sometime soon.

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