Since the plan will provide a public subsidy to a private developer, “the Supreme Court affirmatively knows this transaction is unconstitutional,” Redlight the Gulch said in a statement. “This … clearly represents a level of judicial activism never seen before in this state.”
Redlight the Gulch has no remaining legal options to challenge the sales tax bonds, said Julian Bene, a group leader. About 150 city residents contributed money to pay the group’s legal fees.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and CIM Group declined to comment.
Under the plan, 4 cents of every 8.9 cents in sales tax collected in the Gulch — up to $1 billion — will shift from the state budget to the development, Bene said. That money would otherwise be used for schools, roads and other state functions.
Another penny from sales tax — up to $125 million — will be redirected from the city’s general fund. The remaining 3.9 cents will continue to be used for water and sewer, MARTA and other programs.
In addition to Enterprise Zone bonds, the city wants to issue up to $40 million backed by future property taxes to finance the Gulch project. Redlight the Gulch has also challenged those bonds. The Supreme Court on Monday transferred two related cases to the state Court of Appeals.