APS vs. Mayor Reed over the Beltline

June 23, 2014 12:00 pm

by Eric The Younger · 5 comments

There are some strong words going back and forth between the Atlanta Public Schools and Mayor Kasim Reed over the Atlanta Beltline Project. WABE has the full story here.

It all started back in 2005 when there was an contract between the City and APS to use some of the property tax revenue from APS to fund the Beltline in exchange for fixed payments from the city to APS. Then the economy tanked and the contract was restructured.

Now the APS chief is threatening legal action for the $19 million that is owed to APS from the city. This threat came up in the middle of a fundraising appeal for the Beltline and Mayor Reed was less than thrilled and had this to offer ”Nobody is going to negotiate at the end of a gun so if you’re going to take hostages you better be prepared to shoot the hostages.”

All this over what is one of the more popular public initiatives being built. The folks in Cherokee and Fayette may say what they will about the Beltline, but the people of Fulton and DeKalb want the project. With APS threatening to sue over the failure to abide by a contract that assumed real estate value would always increase, it will be interesting to see the effect on the Beltline development.

It’s very easy to see both sides of this argument as valid, I just hope both sides can fix the issue without a long protracted legal case that will only burn through the already limited funds that both sides have.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Bearse June 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm

Can’t lose contracts aren’t always can’t lose, and Atlanta ought to pony up.

pucillo.oscar June 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

There is more going on here than meets the eye. In the Atlanta scene there is the relatively moderate, pro-business Reed administration (you can practically say that the city is being run by Bain and Company as Reed hired so many city officials from there and pretty much implements their audits and plans) on one side versus the more left-liberal interests on the Fulton County Commission and the school board. The school board and the superintendent’s office opposes charter schools, Reed supports them. The school board – and the left in general – still has not forgiven Reed for teaming up with the GOPers under the gold dome to pass a law that allows the GOP governor to remove school board members. Also, a lot of urban progressives oppose the Beltline because they A) would rather the $1 billion that is being spent in the Beltline be instead used to fund welfare programs and B) they fear that it will drive up real estate prices and property taxes and gentrify the city, displacing low income blacks with high income whites. Reed tried to placate them by proposing that Turner Field be developed into low income housing, but then backtracked and will now sell the area to Georgia State (even more gentrification).

It is funny: the GOPers and folks outside the city who treat Reed as if he is another Barack Obama do not realize that the Atlanta left-liberals dislike him as much as the suburbanites do.

The Last Democrat in Georgia June 24, 2014 at 12:23 pm

OTPers’ problem with Reed is that he is a highly-visible major supporter of Obama and was a big supporter of the 2012 T-SPLOST debacle that would’ve screwed the ‘burbs.

saltycracker June 24, 2014 at 1:53 pm

So the APS gave up some property tax money in return for City payments based City predictions of ever rising real estate values. Where have we seen that type of fiasco before ?

Even more hysterical is the bloated, over benefited APS saying it is about the children.

It´s almost as much fun as when we get a short term E-SPLOST to make payments on long term bonds.

saltycracker June 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

PS Down on the gulf coast BP wants a do over on a promise they would cover losses real or imaginary and found imaginations were vastly larger than reality……looks like the City had the imagination of their tax appraiser, the banks and the CofC….