New TAD Restrictions Clear Legislative Hurdle

Legislation putting restrictions on taxpayer-financed redevelopment of blighted areas passed a Georgia House committee unanimously on Monday.

HB 63, sponsored by Rep. Earl Ehrhart, would raise the bar for local governments seeking to form tax allocation districts (TADs) in run-down neighborhoods by tightening the legal definition of what constitutes a blighted area.

Communities across Georgia have been using TADs since the 1980s to foster redevelopment in areas that have deteriorated to the point that they aren’t likely to attract private developers.

TADs allow local governments to float bonds for redevelopment projects that are repaid from the tax revenues generated by the higher property values those improvements bring.

Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, introduced the bill after officials in Cobb County complained that some TADs were being proposed there in areas that weren’t truly blighted.

“I think people took it too far and ruined a valuable economic development tool,” he told members of the House Governmental Affairs Committee.

Ehrhart said his legislation would get rid of “subjective, general” language that makes it too easy for communities to form TADs.

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