Public Input through July 5th on Possible Uses for Funds in Proposed TADs

Staff Report

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

ACCGov seeks public input through July 5, 2020 on possible uses for funds generated within proposed Tax Allocation Districts. A Tax Allocation District (TAD) is a redevelopment tool that uses the increased property taxes generated by new development in a designated redevelopment area to finance costs related to development including, but not limited to, public infrastructure, demolition, utilities, and planning costs. 

The increased property taxes in the TAD area, known as the tax increment, can only be used for redevelopment and improvements within the same TAD for its duration. There are many potential benefits for using TADs, including attracting private development that would have otherwise not occurred in its absence to under-developed areas.

Georgia’s Redevelopment Powers Law was adopted by the General Assembly in 1985, giving local governments the authority to sell bonds to finance infrastructure and other redevelopment costs within a TAD. Pursuant to the Redevelopment Powers Law, ACC gained redevelopment powers through a referendum approved by residents on November 7, 2006. In order to establish a TAD, the Mayor and Commission must designate a TAD boundary and approve a Redevelopment Plan, which acts as the business plan for the operation of the district.

TADs are commonly used throughout Georgia, but Athens has never established a TAD. In 2019, ACCGov proposed two Tax Allocation Districts for consideration. The Newton Bridge Tax Allocation District proposal encompassed areas along Newton Bridge Road, extending from Vincent Drive to the intersection of Barber Street and Cleveland Avenue. The River District Tax Allocation District proposal encompassed areas along the North Oconee River, north of Dudley Park, to the east of College Avenue and north along North Avenue. 

During a public hearing for both Redevelopment Plans on October 29, 2019 (video of meeting), Mayor Kelly Girtz explained his decision to remove consideration of a resolution to adopt the two Redevelopment Plans off the November 5, 2019 agenda in favor of revisiting the process in 2020 to allow more time for public input and Commissioner consideration.

At the May 26, 2020 Mayor and Commission Work Session (video of meeting), six possible redevelopment areas were presented to Commissioners for initial consideration and further discussion. ACCGov is still in the preliminary stages of identifying possible areas to consider for a TAD or TADs. Residents are invited to provide public input on the types of projects TAD funds should support. This input will be presented to Mayor & Commission at the July 9, 2020 Work Session.

For more information on tax allocation districts and to access the public input tool, visit