Amendment 2

Continuing the discussion of Amendments, here’s Amendment 2.  Amendment 3 will be posted Monday.

Amendment 2

To authorize local school districts to use tax funds for community redevelopment purposes.

Senate Resolution No. 996
Resolution Act No. 777
Ga. L. 2008, p. 1211

“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize community redevelopment and authorize counties, municipalities, and local boards of education to use tax funds for redevelopment purposes and programs?”( ) YES ( ) NO

This proposal affirms that the General Assembly may authorize counties, municipalities, and housing authorities to carry out community redevelopment.

The proposal also revises the Constitution’s provisions relative to redevelopment powers and tax allocation bonds. As revised by the proposed amendment, the current provisions for community redevelopment, after providing for such powers, will contain revised provisions relative to tax allocation bonds. In general, tax allocation bonds are government borrowings which are repaid specifically from future growth in the property tax digest of an area under redevelopment.

Under the proposal a general law will be able to authorize the use of county, municipal, and school tax funds, or any combination thereof, to fund redevelopment purposes and programs, including repayment of tax allocation bonds. The general law may provide for such use of tax funds without regard to whether the local government approved such use before January 1, 2009. No county, municipal, or school tax funds may be used for such purposes and programs without approval by the applicable local governing body.

With respect to school taxes only, such taxes may be used for redevelopment purposes and programs only if: (1) they have been pledged for repayment of tax allocation bonds which have been judicially validated (approved by a court for issuance); or (2) such use is authorized by general law after January 1, 2009.

A copy of this entire proposed amendment is on file in the office of the judge of the probate court and is available for public inspection.

17 comments

  1. Harry says:

    Much of the bonding capacity that would become available from passage of Amendment 2 would go to corrupt low income and “workforce” housing for the benefit of politically connected developers and bond lawyers. It’s basically income redistribution in which the middle class is taxed to subsidize housing for people with insufficient credit. Such welfare subsidies may sometimes be good, but let’s be transparent about it and not raise property tax on the backs of the struggling middle class to pay the bonds.

  2. My kin folks call me Nick says:

    Harry,

    I disagree with the whole subsidies part, but you are correct that the transparency issue.

    Amendments should be crystal clear in what they are proposing! They should just stop trying to sneak stuff past us!

  3. Game Fan says:

    I’ll second #1. You have to keep “leaders” and bureaucrats in their cages or they just run amuck. Well they do anyway. In fact most will encounter power hungry types and conflicts of interest in the neighborhood garden club.

  4. Jessica C. says:

    Wow. I’m not sure where to begin. First, and foremost, voting ‘yes’ merely means that school districts have the OPTION to participate if they deem it to be beneficial. Plus, they get to negotiate specific benefits for their school district before making the decision. The benefits depend on the TAD, but here’s a good example: from the Westside TAD, Atlanta Public Schools received $5 million to build Centennial Elementary. Second, tax allocation districts are financed through tax allocation bonds which are then repaid using the property taxes from the new development – not the middle class. Last, I’m not sure about your definition of a “slum”, but in my book Atlantic Station, Atlanta’s Westside, etc. are hardly safe havens for those with poor credit.

    Personally, I think TADs are a good idea and I support Amendment 2. TADs allow redevelopment in blighted areas that need improvement – they bring life back into those communities. I plan to vote ‘yes’ and I hope others do so as well. This is enabling legislation!

  5. Bucky Plyler says:

    I don’t think this change to the state constitution is necessary. There are other legal vehicles to do the same or similar thing.

  6. Bill Simon says:

    Jessica,

    YOu said this: “and I support Amendment 2. TADs allow redevelopment in blighted areas that need improvement ”

    Have you ever pondered (as I have) on just WHO will decide the standard for what constitutes a “blighted area?”

  7. bowersville says:

    TADS allow,

    necessary infrastructure at taxpayer expense

    property tax breaks for the investor that would assist in payment for supporting infrastructure

    toxic spill clean up at tax payer expense

    eminent domain at the hands of government which has a conflict of interest due to investment

    affordable housing with a profit for the taxpayer (right, where have we heard of this before)

    Bailout of investors using BOE money

    Yeah, what a deal for the taxpayer. Next time try Fannie/Freddie.

    Atlantic Station and AIG anyone? google it.

  8. Chris says:

    This is enabling legislation!

    Yes, and much like drug addict enablers, it will enable developers to build more properties than the market supports by artifically lowering their required investment by saddling the tax payers for the difference.

    I see we have learned jack-shit from the Freddie/Fannie/Wall St boondoggle.

  9. Dave Bearse says:

    Bill Simon is correct that the definition of “blighted” is important. The Druid Hills Road-Briarcliff Road area is by no conceivable means blighted, yet a a TAD was sought.

    My issue with TADs is the gimmickry of the “frozen” taxes argument in obtaining public assistance for an “upfront” developer’s profit in the form of public funding that increases overtime.

    Inflation constantly erodes the value of the “frozen” taxes. At 3% inflation, the frozen taxes have only half their value after 23 years. At 5% inflation they have less than half their value after only 15 years.

    I can support TADs only to the extent that “frozen” taxes ared indexed to the overall local government property tax digest as a means to truly allocate limit only the value of the increased taxes to the TAD.

  10. Progressive Dem says:

    How many school age kids live in Atlantic Station or the Centennial Park TAD? Did the Board of Education lose a dime on those tads? No. Were there any actual tax shifts onto current taxpayers? No. The redevelopment of those areas was greatly improved the surrounding areas and the entire City. The economic rebirth and tax revenues (property and sales) has benefited all taxpayers in the City.

  11. Dave Bearse says:

    PD:

    I support the Atlantic Station TAD, and may support others in the future so don’t take this wrong.

    The BoE may not be losing a dime, but however many school age children live in Atlantic Station, it’s many more than there were before it was built, and the BoE is educating the additional kids the same dime it was receivning before the Atlantic Station was built, a dime that will only be worth a nickel in 20 years.

  12. GreenAllTheWay says:

    oh great, our schools are falling a part, Clayton County is not even capabile of running a system, and now you liberal wacko’s think it is a good idea to take the school’s limited (and decreasing funds) and spend them on community developement projects?

  13. OleDirtyBarrister says:

    Taxing power to support schools is not the appropriate way to handle “redevelopment,” no matter if sheeple like Progressive Dem want to crow that it is great. The matters at Atlantic Station, etc. are not over yet, we don’t know what the long term consequences will be.

    School boards do not belong in the redevelopment arena, that is not what people elected them to do.

Comments are closed.