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May 21, 2008


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BOC postpones action on Braselton’s TAD request
BY ANGELA GARY
Braselton leaders had hoped the Jackson County Board of Commissioners would approve a resolution Monday night supporting their tax allocation district. Instead, the BOC postponed action after receiving notice from tax commissioner Don Elrod on his concerns about the issue.
Commissioner Tom Crow said Elrod had contacted him with concerns about keeping up with the property tax numbers for tax allocation districts. The BOC agreed to meet with Elrod before taking action on the request from Braselton.
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. At an earlier meeting, Braselton Mayor Pat Graham and city manager Jennifer Scott asked the BOC to approve a resolution supporting Braselton’s plans.
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.
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.



 

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