MARTA’s risky venture into complicated leaseback transactions with insurance giant AIG and others has turned a $15 million profit, at least so far, state auditors said today. Dozens of U.S. transit agencies took part in the leaseback deals, which offered a profit for MARTA and a tax shelter for the investors. The deals seemed safe until AIG lost its AAA credit rating a year ago, leaving MARTA on the line to pay termination fees that could have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars.
Hundreds of customers had their water service cut off earlier this year because the city of Atlanta mishandled retroactive billing for a rate hike, according to a new city audit. Moreover, an estimated one in five customers were not told before their water was turned off, as required by city code, the audit found. Water commissioner Robert Hunter disputed the findings.