Sen. Fran Millar

I have had a number of questions concerning the proposed tax allocation district (TAD) for the GM site (Assembly).

At this point, Doraville (6-1 vote), DeKalb County (7-0 vote), MARTA and the State of Georgia understand this project can shape the future of DeKalb County more than any other project. The DeKalb County School Board needs to get to the table and negotiate NOW.

Private financing cannot be attracted to fund the extension public infrastructure ($180 million) needed to make the site developable into a mixed use, transit oriented job center. Atlantic Station is one familiar local example.

As I understand it the facts about the TAD are as follows:

• There is no reduction in the annual real estate taxes as a result of the TAD

• There is no financial exposure to City, County or School System as a result of the TAD

• If development progresses ahead of schedule, the funds are repaid faster. All taxes collected after the repayment of those funds are paid to the City, County and School System. Those funds cannot flow to the benefit of the Developer.

• The maximum time that the tax collections can be used to repay the funds used for public infrastructure development is 25 years from the time that the first funds are borrowed to fund this public infrastructure.

• As a job center, Assembly is expected to produce a limited number of housing units for families, thereby minimizing the number of new students. Yet, a certain negotiated sum could be withheld to go to the School System for each student housed in the new development on the site.

Bottom line, if the DeKalb County School Board allow this opportunity to be lost, then meaningful development in DeKalb outside Perimeter and Brookhaven will be nil for the foreseeable future. If I were a DeKalb School Board member, I would ask myself why are all these other entities wrong to support this initiative. Unfortunately, the Governor can’t take action this time if the Board fails to act in a responsible manner.

Please feel free to check my Facebook page for specifics on this project. School Board members are welcome to review. Your comments and questions are always welcome.

Senator Fran Millar


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