Braselton asks Jackson BOC for TAD support
BY ANGELA GARY
Braselton leaders want county taxes collected in a historic district designated in the town’s old downtown area to be frozen to fund city revitalization and development.
The mechanism for doing that, a tax allocation district, has proven controversial in Georgia after the state’s Supreme Court struck down TADs that use school taxes to pay for funding the projects. In November, Georgia voters will decide whether or not to amend the state’s Constitution to allow school funds to be used in TAD projects.
Last year, before the Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling, Braselton voters approved a TAD project as a way to fund a major downtown revitalization project.
Monday night, Braselton mayor Pat Graham and town manager Jennifer Scott asked the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to approve a resolution supporting Braselton’s plans. The BOC is scheduled to take action on the request when it meets at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 19, at the courthouse in Jefferson.
Graham said a plan was developed to “bring Braselton back to the thriving commercial center it was in the 1920s.” She said the main priority is to realign Hwy. 53 to develop a green area, as well as commercial, retail and office development.
The district has 285 acres and the tax value is $6.2 million.
“This is an area that is definitely lagging behind other areas which is why we sought the tax allocation district,” Graham said. “We need a strong economic tool to bring in the type of development we want.”
The BOC’s participation in the TAD would be allowed since it doesn’t involve school funds. For the Jackson County School System to participate, the state’s Constitution will have to be amended. Since school taxes make up the bulk of the tax rate, that may prove critical to funding the project.