A Florida-based developer with a major project underway in DeKalb County wants $52 million in tax breaks — complete freedom from having to pay property taxes for the next 20 years on most of the Sembler Co. Town Brookhaven project on Peachtree Road near Oglethorpe University.
This should be the wake-up call Georgians need to sharply curtail tax giveways to developers. We should in this instance heed the advice of David Sjoquist, the director of the fiscal research center at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (it’s hard to quote this guy in print because his title and affiliation go on forever; but that’s neither here nor there. His research is sound and here his advice is too.)
Sjoquist says that in the absence of a growing economy new retail space merely cannibalizes existing businesses. Those property owners, ironically, must pay the taxes the new guys avoid. “The common argument is that you shold not subsidize retailing,” he told the