Atlanta school board members voted Monday night to keep most of the $18 million raised through tax allocation districts, but agreed to let the Atlanta Development Authority keep $6 million and repay it later.
The agreement capped off months of discussions over what would happen to the money.
The money was raised through tax allocation districts (TADS) which use a portion of school tax money to pay for development projects. State lawmakers passed a bill this year that lets school boards keep the money.
The ADA planned to use that money on various projects such as the Beltline, which would create businesses, affordable housing, and parks and recreation along a 22-mile loop in the city. City officials and developers say the money could fuel economic redevelopment in Atlanta and ultimately help the school district by increasing tax revenue down the road.
But school officials say they need the money because of state budget cuts and reductions in property tax revenue because of the recession. They said the district lost $9 million in state cuts and expects about $6.4 million less from property taxes.
The agreement reached gives the ADA a 10-year, 3 percent repayment plan for $6 million of the Beltline TAD funds.
What do you think of the school board’s decision? Are TADS a progressive way to revitalize neighborhoods or should this money be used just for education?