Hope for the future
I am glad to see all in the media are not jaded by the lies of this campaign ("Mao, Mussolini and, uh, McCain?", Metropolis, Oct. 15). This is a very sad time in our country. My only hope is that we elect the right leader to try to right this country's future. Keep up the great work.
– John Cunningham, Atlanta
All about TADs
Many imply that without a yes vote, tax allocation districts won't be available to local governments to induce prospective developers ("Our election fantasy," cover story, Oct. 15). But TADs are still available. It's just that the school portion of anticipated tax value increases must be dedicated to school purposes. CL got this part right. A bigger concern is that TADs are supposed to support only disinvested communities or areas, not sweeten developers' profits wherever. Early TADs satisfied this state-mandated requirement.
Later ones, though, like for the Beltline, have abused that intent. The Atlanta Development Authority and its Beltline subsidiary used contorted reasoning to justify the Beltline's TAD designation. While nominally including distressed areas to gain approval, most of the Beltline TAD's first proceeds are committed to projects in the affluent northeast quadrant, including buying out Wayne Mason at close to triple his original investment.
By itself, this stretch of the Beltline would not meet state requirements for TAD use. In fact, later TADs – far from improving the living environment in poorer parts of town – have fed speculation and displaced many of the people that the program is supposed to benefit. Finally, why shouldn't schools' portions of TADs be dedicated to support schools' crucial roles in revitalizing disinvested communities?
– Mike Dobbins, Atlanta
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