Thank you, Stan Jester, for sharing this in your FactChecker Blog.
Statement from DeKalb Schools Superintendent Regarding the DeKalb County School System’s participation in the TAD for the Development of Assembly:
“The DeKalb County School District has been asked to consider partnering with the DeKalb County Government and the City of Doraville to create a Tax Allocation District (TAD) that includes the former GM assembly plant and portions of the City of Doraville. The TAD would produce approximately $247 million in tax revenues that would be used to fund infrastructure improvements such as roads, a tunnel, and other public projects. The debt including debt service of approximately $600 million for these improvements would be paid for with tax revenue above what is collected currently in the area.
I have several serious reservations about committing school resources over the course of the 25 years of the TAD for this project.
1. Our core business is teaching and learning, not speculative, unpredictable real estate projects.
2. Two of the three current TADs in DeKalb County have not succeeded in meeting their tax revenue projections. The Kensington and Briarcliff TADs have decreased in tax digest value since their inception with Kensington showing a decrease in excess of 20 percent.
3. After several years, the ongoing inability of the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Public Schools to fulfill their intergovernmental agreement based on a TAD for the financing of the Beltline project demonstrates how unforeseen pitfalls can be costly to the local school system.
4. The school tax digest for the Doraville TAD would be fixed for 25 years with a best case scenario of nine more additional years before the School District would recoup taxes that had been given up.
We are expected to be good stewards of our resources and I think making a 25-year commitment to freezing the school tax digest does not fulfill that commitment.”
— Dr. Stephen Green, Superintendent DeKalb Schools