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TAD bill amended yet again to give ATL, Gainesville an “opt out”
House Bill 63, which would let the BeltLine and other Tax Allocation District projects use school tax money, was amended yet again this afternoon in the Senate. With the latest change, school systems in Atlanta and Gainesville could “opt out” of their earlier approval of funding.
That use of school funds was ruled unconstitutional last year. The pending legislation would make it legal again, but an amendment last week (see below) stipulated a school board’s earlier vote in favor of TAD funding would stand and would not have to be revisited.
Atlanta school officials complained that would cost the system $18 million. And Gainesville school officials, who had changed their minds about their TAD commitment, wondered whether the bill would still let them back out.
The latest language gives both systems a choice, as long as they act before Gov. Sonny Perdue signs the bill into law. The bill now goes back to the House of Representatives.
(Transparency disclosure: This writer sold four boxes of Thin Mints to Rep. Kevin Levitas’ family this afternoon at the Girl Scout meeting. I don’t believe the transaction influenced either one of us, but others may feel differently.)
Here’s the language of the latest amendment:
(g) Any consent by a local board of education to the inclusion of educational ad valorem property taxes as a basis for computing tax allocation increments and any authorization to use such funds for such purposes that was approved before January 1, 2009, and not rescinded or repealed prior to the effective date of this Code section is ratified and confirmed pursuant to the authority granted by Article IX, Section II, Paragraph VII of the Constitution, as amended by a resolution ratified at the November, 2008 general election, Ga. L. 2008, p. 777, to authorize the use of county, municipal, and school tax funds, or any combination thereof, for redevelopment purposes and programs notwithstanding Article VIII, Section VI or any other provision of the Constitution and regardless of whether any county, municipality, or local board of education approved the use of such tax funds for such purposes and programs before or after January 1, 2009.