The Clayton County Board of Commissioners opened the door for new economic development in the Mountain View area Tuesday by carving its own tax allocation district, or TAD, out of an existing district in the northwestern corner of the county.
The commissioners voted unanimously to break the Tax Allocation District No. 2 — Northwest Clayton, which was created in 2008, into two new districts at a business meeting.
Officially, the existing No. 2 district was terminated so the new districts, known as Tax Allocation District No. 4 — Northwest Clayton, and Tax Allocation District No. 5, Mountain View –– could be created.
“Effectively, what we we’re doing is ... splitting that [old No. 2 district],” Interim County Attorney Jack Hancock told commissioners during a public, pre-meeting presentation. “This resolution will add some area that ought to have been included, but, apparently, under the old resolution was not ...”
Breaking Mountain View off from the previously existing TAD for the county’s northwestern region would create more emphasis on generating economic development in an area that county Economic Development Director Grant Wainscott has said has some potential for economic growth. Wainscott was not present at Tuesday’s commission meeting.
The region is near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s forthcoming Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. International Terminal, which will open access to the airport from Interstate 75. Earlier this year, it was announced that automotive maker, Porsche, was moving its North American headquarters near the airport and the Mountain View area.
The National Museum of Commercial Aviation is also expected to build a permanent facility in the area.
Hancock explained that TADs, such as the two created this week, are designed to create incentives that can be used to attract new businesses to a designated area.
“It creates the opportunity for the establishment of a tax base level, and for the use of additional revenues over and above that base level, to be used for incentives for businesses that locate in that area,” the attorney said. He added that the distribution of those incentives would have to be approved by the commission on an individual basis.
The tax base level for the new northwest Clayton County TAD is $143.2 million, while the base level for the Mountain View TAD is $73.18 million, according to the resolution approved by commissioners on Tuesday.
The resolution said “the Northwest Clayton Redevelopment Area has not been subject to growth and development through private enterprise, and would not reasonably be anticipated to be developed without the approval of the amendments to the Northwest Clayton Redevelopment Plan.”
Hancock said the recommendation to redraw the TAD boundaries came from a recent review of the existing TADs.
The resolution also states that the split is expected to “enhance” property values in the area. The new districts are set to exist for 30 years.
Not everyone was pleased with the decision to split the TAD, however. Rex resident, Rev. Lisa T. Smith, asked county officials to publicly explain who might be getting the incentives provided by the TAD.
“Who are these individuals that will be receiving the incentives and the benefits?” Smith asked.
Hancock replied: “We don’t know that at this time, because the developments have not yet begun. It’s an opportunity district.”
Smith also argued that the public was left out of the loop on discussions about splitting the TAD, until the commission publicized a public hearing on the issue. The public hearing took place during this week’s commission meeting, just before commissioners voted on approving the TAD resolution.
“Any discussions that should come up, pertaining to anything fiscally, I would think citizens of this county should have an opportunity to participate in that process, to understand what’s going on,” Smith said.