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Vote Yes on Amendment 2 for Stronger Communities

Background: Amendment 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot restores to school districts the right to participate in tax allocation districts, a powerful redevelopment tool that has been successfully used in smart growth projects like the nationally renowned Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta. A TAD will also fund Atlanta?s ambitious BeltLine, a 22-mile loop around central Atlanta that will feature light rail transportation, walking paths, and parks. Schools in Georgia long had the right to participate in TADs but lost that right earlier this year as the result of a lawsuit. Given the importance of school participation in TADs ? school districts often account for more than 50 percent of property tax revenues ? the Livable Communities Coalition believes it vital to restore the right for school districts to choose to participate in TADs. The following may be attributed to the Coalition:
Vote Yes ş on Amendment 2 for Stronger Communities
Georgia voters can restore the right of local schools to help their communities attract residents, create jobs, and revitalize neighborhoods when they vote Nov. 4.
By voting yes! on state constitutional Amendment 2. Amendment 2 gives back to local school districts the right to use tax allocation districts (TADs) to strengthen their communities. It?s a right school districts had in Georgia from 1985 until earlier this year, when a lawsuit knocked down the choice.
TADs are a powerful, locally controlled redevelopment tool. They?re already in use in 48 states and approved in 50 jurisdictions in Georgia. They give local communities a way to attract needed economic development without subtracting a dollar from current tax revenues.
Using TADs, cities, counties, and schools can target neglected or blighted neighborhoods. The tax districts issue bonds to pay for improvements needed to attract new development.  Overlooked neighborhoods become more livable with more jobs, more services, more businesses, and more residents. Property values rise inside the district, and the bonds are repaid using only the increase in property tax revenues. Schools, cities, and counties continue to collect and use the revenues they collected before development.
Once bonds are paid off, 100 percent of the tax dollars generated inside the district revert to schools and local governments, ensuring revenues much greater than those received before development. In fact, schools begin benefitting long before bonds are paid off as properties near the TAD rise in value to reflect the new economic vitality, businesses, jobs, and residents inside the TAD.
In metro Atlanta, TADs have produced Atlantic Station, a vibrant mixed-use development on the formerly contaminated site of a steel mill; a shopping district in Acworth in place of a vacant landfill; and East Point?s busy Camp Creek Marketplace.
While Amendment 2 restores the right of schools to participate in TADs, it doesn?t commit anyone. Only local governments and schools can create TADs. The decision to create TADs is still a local option completely under local control.
Vote yes! on Amendment 2 to give back to local schools the right to help their communities renew, rebuild, and revitalize neglected or blighted neighborhoods.
The result will be stronger communities and stronger schools.
For more information:
Kevin Doyle, 770.567.3406 ext. 20
Further Reading

Chris Leinberger: The Structural Shift in Building in Metropolitan Atlanta

Chris Leinberger Interviewed about Tyson's Corner, VA on NPR