A tax-allocation district is being sought for infrastructure improvements to connect the site to the rest of Doraville, including nearby I-85, I-285 and a neighboring MARTA station.
Last month, the school district sent a letter to Perry asking questions after several informational sessions on tax-allocation districts, which are areas where property tax collections are frozen while the area is developed. Future increases in property tax values and collections, such as school taxes, do not go to government coffers for a period of years, but are used to repay bonds for infrastructure improvements for the development, such as streets and sewer. After a number of years, the local governments return to collecting the new, and theoretically higher, tax revenue.
Among the questions were whether an analysis of funding redevelopment without the school district’s participation was explored, the cost schedule for infrastructure improvements and how progress would be tracked.
In a response to Perry’s letter, school board attorney Nina Gupta said the lack of answers in Perry’s reply to district questions was “disappointing, at best.”
A majority of school board members oppose the district's participation, concerned about how it will affect collections for schools. But that could change, pending further discussions and answers to questions they posed to the developer. Other local governments — including Decatur, which approved a resolution this week urging DeKalb schools' participation — support the plan, as well as local business interests. The school board's participation is worth 56 percent of the total tax revenue the TAD would generate.
Perry has said his firm would decide by June whether to continue with its ambitious vision of a massive mixed-use development of houses and businesses or scrap it.