Atlanta BeltLine Seeks Tax Hike For Adjacent Businesses To Finish Loop by 2030

Half of the businesses within the proposed Special Service District (SSD) would pay about $20 extra monthly, according to the ordinance proposed Tuesday
Atlanta BeltLine Seeks Tax Hike For Adjacent Businesses To Finish Loop by 2030 - Photo
Photo: Official

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.

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“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:

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Graphic: Official
Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak

23 Responses

  1. While I understand that this is a complex issue, I find it interesting that the City is increasing property taxes in part to help keep residents in housing that cannot afford the increasing property taxes.

    1. Being the owner of commercial, and multi-family, property– I will be raising rents to cover this tax (that supports affordable housing???).

        1. Why would you need to know that?
          I’m an independent landlord– I think that’s about all you need to know.

            1. Ohmygosh, that gave me a good laugh!
              Jame will be disappointed to know that I gave up car ownership nine years ago…

              Good to know you’re still around! Word on the street is some of the Curbed
              former employees are launching a new site in the near future– covering ATL, DC, NYC, LA, and Detroit.

  2. With the exception of the light railway (bad idea), this inititive will primarily be focused on the West end of the Beltline while the East end will experience higher taxes to economically support the program. I guess this explains why the Mayor previously signed an executive order preventing all permit applications for West end properties that unilaterally halted much needed development in that part of the city.

  3. “Legacy Residents” has to be one of the most thoughtless and mindless creations I have ever read. Only in Atlanta could this be a “thing”.

  4. NGL I’ve completely given up on the Beltline. Physically, it could be finished in a year. At the current rate, I consider it essentially dead – especially since they’ve been building out the “easy” segments first and have all the most challenging ones still to go. Maybe some day far in the future it will be more or less complete and that’ll be nice, but I doubt I’ll still be around or interested by then.

    1. If only someone would make the argument, dubiously, that finishing the Beltline would cause convention bookings and tourism and hotel occupancy to skyrocket, you know they’d have the whole thing finished by Easter. Just for people who actually live in the actual city? Clearly not worth it…

  5. I agree, the term “legacy resident” is probably one of the most ridiculous phrases ever created, and it’s embarrassingly used throughout certain parts of Atlanta as well as by residents of various neighborhoods, non profits, and government officials.

    The term legacy is subjective at best, with no true definition that warrants a person to be legacy. Is a legacy resident someone that’s live in a community 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 20 yrs, or 30 yrs of living in a certain community? Many people also equate the term “legacy resident” to the elderly population. However, there are plenty of people in their 30s, that have lived in the same home for 15-20 yrs. Are they too legacy residents? Is a legacy renter in a community for 10 yrs, more important than a legacy homeowner of 5 yrs? Is a new resident thats 60 yrs old more important than a new resident thats 25 in the same community?

    Any person that thinks or supports initiatives that affords a certain class of residents more priority than another class, simply because they’ve lived in a community longer, are no different than segregationistfighting to keep their schools separate but equal. There has to be consistency, and you can’t not govern or mandate on theory that excludes equal opportunity taxpayers.

    1. I’ve lived in my home since 1995.
      I consider myself, as well as those others still in their homes, legacy residents.
      We had a vision, and created these neighborhoods that are now so damn popular with people like you.

      1. If you are in Inman Park you were about 25 years too late to be what would be considered a “legacy” resident. The real pioneers moved in from 1970 to 1972 and saved the neighborhood from Jimmy Carter’s destructive diabolical mind. You likely have some neighbors that are though. It’s a ridiculous term that in reality has no basis or true meaning. It’s one that is used to placate and is made up to put one group of people over others. It’s divisive.

          1. You might want to look into who actually had the bulldozers stopped and the clear cutting stopped. Yes, VaHi residents had a part but so did several Inman Park pioneers one who was a local prosecutor at the time who used his legal connections in the city and state to get an injunction and ultimately was able to run the clock out to where the highway was no longer a viable option. Of course this is after all the devastating destruction was already done.

        1. I wasn’t implying that I was a pioneer.
          Yet I’ve had a hand in actively making this a desirable neighborhood– as have many of my long-term neighbors.
          There are people on my street that were actually born in their houses.
          There are people on my partner’s street in Kirkwood that were born in their homes. Some of us respect that and are trying to help keep those folks safe, and in their homes.

      2. It’s people like you that are a part of the problem; you feel entitled and want to be treated as if you’re owed something. Was your neighborhood built in 1995? Are there people that somehow lived there we’ll before you? You claim to have had a vision, and your circle of friends arrogantly believe that you made the community desirable? I wonder how the people that lived in the immediate neighborhood or community feels about your idea that your work is the reason why it’s desirable, and “our vision” is what made it desirable. Your privilege seeps through your pores my friend.

        I ask you this, are you entitled to have a stronger voice than someone that pays the same taxes, HOA, etc as you, simply because you’ve lived their longer- should you have a special advantage? Living in a community isn’t a job interview; there’s no merit system in place.
        It’s supply and demand. Those that lived there longer do not deserve the larger home nor a shiney trophy.

        1. FYI…
          Yes, I believe that our work as longtime residents has made this the desirable
          neighborhood that it is today.
          I also have no problem in speaking of my accomplishments– as a neighbor,
          a businessperson, and a steward of the environment.
          I’ve had six neighbors in the house next door. half of them just wanted to live in, and brag about, living in a very desirable neighborhood. Those people contributed nothing to the neighborhood– just a moneymaking flip to them.
          I live in an apartment (in my own building) that’s less than 900 s/f– so your “larger home, shiny trophy argument” is just bs.

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