School board approves participation in TADs

SUWANEE -- The Gwinnett County Board of Education voted Thursday evening to authorize Gwinnett County Public Schools' participation in five tax allocation districts established in the county's three community improvement districts.

School board chairman Daniel Seckinger said participating in these five TADs is a "wise, calculated risk."

"For me, this has not been an easy decision," he said before the vote during the school board's monthly business meeting. "... I'm very, very leery of looking at these (tax allocation districts) as a blanket situation."

Mary Kay Murphy, the school board's vice chairwoman, said she supported each of the five TADs because of their individual merits and would only consider supporting TADs in the future on a case-by-case basis.

Three of the five TADs are located along Interstate 85 -- the Jimmy Carter and Indian Trail districts within the Gwinnett Village CID and a portion of the Gwinnett Place CID -- and two are located along U.S. Highway 78 -- the Park Place and Lake Lucerne areas of the Evermore CID.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved the five TADs in October. Tax allocation districts are used to revitalize areas that are blighted or distressed, are deteriorating or contain inadequate infrastructure. In such districts, the expected increase in tax value that would come after a revitalization project is used to leverage financing for infrastructure upgrades.

Rick Cost, the school system's chief financial officer, said the tax allocation districts have the potential to generate $25 million in additional property tax revenue.