Happy New Year everyone. Are you ready for another year of exciting DeKalb County politics?
I would like to weigh in first on the proposal for a TAD (tax allocation district) for the former GM site in Doraville. To try to simplify this for everyone , a TAD is local governmental support for development using the taxpayers money to generate long term support for development. As property values increase the additional tax helps to fund a project. DeKalb says we need about $247 million in bonds to pay for the infrastructure. These are improvements that will be made to attract businesses to the development. I don’ know about you, but I am tired of taxing myself in advance to pay for someone else’s business. This is especially so in our well run county.
What happened to the day when developers gathered tenants for a project and figured into their costs a charge they would have to pay for infrastructure? Just like when you bought your house.
It appears to me that the developer that purchased this property could not really afford it. Now they feel the taxpayer should help them be a success. I believe the developer may have been promised a favorable arrangement. Some of our county commissioners thought that financing Arthur Blank and his professional soccer team was a disservice to the taxpayer. I totally agree. I fail to see much difference between this and the Doraville development.
Let’s look at Town Brookhaven. Remember the Sembler folks? They wanted the county to foot their bill. I remember when the school board was approached on this financing issue. I did not like it then and still don’t.
The commissioners will most likely try to sell the public on this by saying that the Doraville property will sell off piecemeal and be a fraction of what it could be. Well Town Brookhaven languished for awhile and then took off. Does it look like a failure to you? They toughed it out with fewer breaks from government and it seems to be a smashing success to me.
I usually don’t agree with much of what the school board does, but turning this one down seems to be right. Of course, I am not sure the students will see the real benefit of the tax money they will not contribute to the TAD. Most of the money will most likely be wasted on adult jobs and pie in the sky educational programs.
That is my view of the issue.
In addition, beware. The Ga. Legislature is in session. Teachers watch out. They are going to try to change the Teachers Retirement state benefits. It does not matter that Georgia’s teacher retirement system is one of the best in the nation. They want the money. Think Social Security. The congress has really made that a strong program. Also did you know that our state legislators have a pension system? Ask whether they are going to dismantle that too. Last time I checked the state legislators were part time workers. How many part timers have a pension plan?
Thanks for thinking about the issues. We all may not agree on the issues but the interaction is good for us all.