Monthly Archives: May 2016

DeKalb Schools Board Chair Talks TAD

Stan Jester
DeKalb County
Board Of Education

Doraville was home to a GM production plant from 1947 to 2008. Egbert Perry’s Integral Group purchased the former GM plant site clearing the way for the biggest ongoing redevelopment project in the region. DeKalb County and Doraville city officials are asking the DeKalb County School District (DCSD) to participate in a Tax Allocation District (TAD) to finance public infrastructure improvements.
I sat down with DeKalb Schools Board of Education Chair, Dr. Melvin Johnson, to discuss the redevelopment and financing the infrastructure improvements.

Mel, many people don’t understand what a TAD is.  It’s a way of financing selected construction projects.
How would the financing for the Doraville TAD work?  The school district would be capped at collecting about $954,000 annually for the 25 years.  With the construction and improvements, it is estimated that $235 million will go to the TAD.  Assuming successful development, after 25 years the school district will receive about $25 million annually.  It will take 9 years to break even.
If the school district doesn’t participate?  I believe there will be other development on the property.  It may result in plus or minus tax revenue.
What is your position on DCSD’s participation in the TAD?  I don’t believe tax dollars should be used to fund private projects.  Our focus is to educate the boys and girls.  Improved student achievement will drive economic development.
What is DCSD’s history with TADs?  To my knowledge, DCSD has never participated in a TAD.  If we participate now, I’m worried more developers will request that DCSD participate in more TADS.
Does accreditation play into this?  Yes.  One reason we were placed on probation is financial mismanagement.
Abatement is another funding tool.  The Hawks training center and Perimeter Summit in DeKalb were recently abated 100% leaving the county and school district with no property tax revenue.  I hope this property doesn’t get abated.

What is a TAD?

This coming week, Superintendent Dr. Green is providing an opportunity for no more than 3 board members at a time to attend mini-sessions with the administration and Legal for the purpose of providing details of TADS and the Doraville IGA.
.pdf link icon  Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Doraville and DeKalb County
.pdf link icon  Doraville TAD Bleakly Report (outlines the rationale, boundaries, fiscal data and potential projects for the TAD)

What is a TAD?

A Tax Allocation District (TAD) is a financing mechanism in Georgia that allows a community to “allocate” increases in taxes generated by new development within a defined area to pay for capital improvements to that area.  No taxes collected from any other area or resident can be used to fund any improvement within the TAD.  Only incremental tax revenues from the TAD site can be used in the TAD area.

  • County and School District taxes can also be allocated IF those jurisdictions consent to participate in the TAD
  • TAD funds can be used for roads, infrastructure, parking structures and other public improvements to attract/support development

Creating a TAD does not directly impact existing taxpayers:

  • Existing property owners within and outside the TAD are taxed in the same manner as if the TAD did not exist
  • All taxes from properties within the TAD continue to be collected
  • Taxing authorities involved in the TAD (City, County and school district) continue collect taxes at the level that existed when the TAD was created

How Does A TAD Work?

What is a TAD

Future property taxes paid by new development and future value growth within the TAD are allocated to a special fund to pay for eligible costs–i.e. increased tax revenue generated by the TAD is spent in the TAD.
TAD funds can be used to pay debt service, match other funding or spend on a pay-as-you-go basis.
No existing taxpayers are affected and no taxes are abated – revenue to repay costs comes from new taxes on new investment.
Only taxes on real estate are typically pledged in a TAD. Taxes on personal property, sales taxes, business licenses and other local government revenues are not affected