Until now, no one knew the real cost of tax incentives awarded by metro Atlanta governments to companies that pledged to expand in the area.
That’s changing as a result of new government transparency rules that enabled The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to crunch the numbers and discover which companies benefited the most last year.
The figures show that the region’s biggest businesses and mixed-use developments also received some of the largest tax breaks.
Avalon, an upscale mixed-use development in Alpharetta, topped the list, receiving nearly $2.6 million in tax breaks last year.
Nearly two dozen Fortune 500 companies are also among those receiving public support, including Walmart, Home Depot, FedEx, Coca-Cola, SunTrust and others.
In all, tax incentives amounted to a 30 percent discount on average for more than 180 properties in the region’s four core counties last year. Companies received $30.7 million in property tax discounts and still owed $72.6 million in Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties, according to the AJC’s analysis.