Voters to consider redevelopment powers in Peachtree Corners

PEACHTREE CORNERS — Gwinnett’s newest city could soon have the power to boost its revitalization efforts.

Voters in Peachtree Corners will go to the polls Tuesday to consider the use of tax allocation districts, known as TADs, to fund improvements in areas in need.

“Redevelopment powers are not new,” Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason said. “They are a financing tool approved in more than 30 cities in the state including Alpharetta, Marietta, Kennesaw, Duluth and Roswell. They simply give the city the ability to create tax allocation districts, used to assist in the financing of a blighted area or under-developed area of a city. TADs help to increase property values but will not increase taxes, expand the city services or obligate the city for the bond debt.”

Since the financing tool was used to create the trendy Atlantic Station, built on the site of a former steel mill, it was approved by voters in many Gwinnett cities, as well as the unincorporated area. Officials signed off on several projects before the Great Recession derailed them.

The districts allow officials to borrow on the increase in tax revenue expected when a redevelopment improves property values, using the funds for public infrastructure such as green space, a parking garage or water and sewer lines.

The vote does not raise taxes or even guarantee that a district will be created, officials pointed out. If the referendum is approved on Nov. 5, the city could consider establishing the boundaries of a TAD through a public hearing process.

If voters approve Redevelopment Powers on Nov. 5, then the next step for the city will be to establish the boundaries of TADs. This will be done through an advertised public hearing process.