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Legislation to create a Special Service District (SSD) within the Atlanta BeltLine Planning Area was introduced at Atlanta City Council on Tuesday, January 19 to create a new revenue source that would “ensure completion of the 22-mile loop of mainline, multi-use trails and stimulate jobs and economic recovery,” according to a press release Tuesday.
“Without additional funding, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) contends the trail corridor would not be completed before the Tax Allocation District (TAD) expires in 2030,” ABI said in the release. Finishing the BeltLine — including design and construction — is estimated at $350 million.
“This additional funding moves us one step closer to our vision for creating One Atlanta,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. “I am encouraged by this latest commitment to move our plans for affordable housing and community revitalization forward.”
An SSD is a geographic district created through legislation that levies additional property taxes to provide local government services. In the case of the BeltLine, commercial and multi-family property owners within the Atlanta BeltLine Planning Area (which includes the half-mile on either side of the corridor) would see an estimated two-mill increase or two-tenths of a penny per dollar in assessed value of each property. Funds go towards trail acquisition, design, and construction.
“Fulfilling the promise of the Atlanta BeltLine, and especially the benefits to the community, is more important than ever,” Clyde Higgs, CEO of ABI, said in the release. “The proposed district will bring value to communities by focusing on greater job creation, housing affordability, and equitable economic access which all support Mayor Bottoms’ One Atlanta Plan.”
Residents living in single-family homes would not be subject to the increase. Almost half of the commercial and multi-family parcels contained within the proposed SSD would pay less than an additional $250 annually, or about $20 a month. The City must sign off on the ordinances before the tax is levied. Each proposed ordinance will go before their assigned City Council committees for discussion, an ABI spokesperson told What Now Atlanta in an email.
Here are the benefits of the SSD for the community, according to ABI: