The Champon Free Press, Frday, Jne 7, 2013 Page 2A
Commissioners in favor of more ‘opportunity zones’ in DeKalb County
City of Decatur Georgia Ad Valorem Tax Digest History Decatur - Digest200820092010201120122013 Assessment Ratio50%50%50%50%50%50%Real Property1,124,007,000$ 1,162,026,500$ 1,157,883,900$ 1,149,844,600$ 1,168,366,733$ 1,167,795,980$
Personal Property18,342,500$ 20,387,500$ 20,069,600$ 21,146,700$ 22,174,136$ 22,014,242$
Public Utilities16,893,389$ 16,473,60011,673,700$ 18,933,750$ 14,297,200$ 14,639,953$
Motor Vehicle49,014,800$ 50,081,000$ 46,119,000$ 46,119,000$ 49,311,000$ 52,979,900$
Total Digest$1,208,257,689$1,248,968,600$1,235,746,200$1,236,044,050$1,254,149,069$1,257,430,075City OperationsGeneral Fund Exemptions157,384,000$ 118,900,000$ $122,579,000125,075,000$ 126,914,000$ 126,332,000$
Net City Operations Digest$1,050,873,689$1,130,068,600$1,113,167,200$1,110,969,050$1,127,235,069$1,131,098,075City Operations Millage13.03513.03513.03513.00013.00013.000City Operations Levy$13,698,139$14,730,444$14,510,134$14,442,598$14,654,056$14,704,275Percent Change3.577.54-1.50-0.471.460.34Dollar Amount Change$472,077$1,032,306($220,310)($67,537)$211,458$50,219The Decatur City Commission announces that the 2013 tentative millage rate was adopted at their meeting onMonday, May 20, 2013. Hearings on the budget and millage rate will be held on:Monday, June 3, 2013 at 7:30 pmMonday, June 17, 2013 at 7:30 pmThe hearings will be held at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA. Final adoption of the2013 millage rate and fiscal year 2013-2014 budget is scheduled for consideration at the Decatur CityCommission meeting on Monday, June 17, 2013. The above table is presented pursuant to O.C.G.A. 48-5-32showing the estimated current year's digest and proposed millage rates along with a five-year history of the taxdigest and millage rates.
by Daniel Beauregarddaniel@dekalbchamp.comDeKalb County commis-sioners hope by amendingthe county’s urban redevelop-ment plan some communitiesmay soon see a boom in busi-ness.During its May 28 meet-ing, the board of commis-sioners voted to amend the2010 urban redevelopment plan to develop opportunityzones and receive state taxcredits for job creation.“The opportunity zone isanother tool to help us as wetry to stimulate investmentand growth,” Commissioner
said.Currently, there are op- portunity zones in Doraville,Dunwoody and AvondaleEstates.To qualify for the stateincentive, which allows upto $3,500 per job created, the proposed area has to be partof an urban redevelopment plan and within or adjacent toa census tract with a 15 per-cent or greater poverty level.
, a residentof the Hidden Hills area inDeKalb County,
said she sup- ports the creation of oppor-tunity zones but is concernedabout the language used todesignate them. Words suchas “slum” and “blight” areused in property descriptions.“It labels all of southDeKalb and portions of mid-DeKalb as a slum area,” Ricesaid. “There are other com-munities that have also beenable to conduct economicdevelopment without labelingthemselves as a slum.”President of the DeKalbCounty Chamber of Com-merce
said it is unfortunate that thelegal language used to desig-nate opportunity zones is out-dated. However, he said their implementation will allowthe county to compete withsurrounding areas.Currently, McClarty saidthere are opportunity zones incities such as Roswell, Mari-etta, East Point, College Park,Union City, Douglasville andothers.“This is one of the few programs where the actual business owner who is creat-ing the jobs is able to takeadvantage of that $3,500 taxcredit that would be extended
over that ve-year period,”
, director of the DeKalb County Com-munity Development Depart-ment, said the tax incentiveis a valuable tool to combat blight and build stronger communities.“Having the opportunityto have additional dollars thatwill go to those businesses tohelp create jobs is very im- portant,” Morris said. “Some-times we identify areas as a‘spot’ slum and blight, notthe whole area—you’ll seeareas all over that are thrivingand doing well but they stillneed this very important toolto help with economic devel-opment to create a stronger community.”Currently, there are 15commercial and industrialareas throughout DeKalbCounty that have applied for opportunity zone designa-tions, including those alongBouldercrest, Panthersvilleand Wesley Chapel roads.Stonecrest, Stone Mountain,Lithonia and portions of theI-85 corridor are also in-cluded.
The DeKalb Countyschool district will not haveto pay any more legal fees for a lawsuit against Heery Inter-national alleging fraud, wasteand mismanagement by the
former construction rm.
On June 3 the DeKalbCounty Board of Educationvoted to amend a legal agree-ment that allows a lawsuit tomove forward at no further expense to DeKalb taxpayers.The amended agreementwith King & Spalding alsoeliminates a provision thatwould have required theschool district to pay up to$30 million in legal fees if the district elected to settle
the case against the law rm’s
recommendation.“With that provision re-moved and King & Spaldingshouldering all future costs,the case against Heery can proceed on its merits withoutthe specter of taxpayers pay-ing tens of millions in legalfees,” according to a mediarelease from the school dis-trict.“This new agreement al-lows the parents and taxpay-ers of DeKalb County to seek justice in the Heery matter without the massive risks andinherent costs associated withthe previous agreement,” saidBoard of Education Chair-man
. “Weare appreciative of King &Spalding for acknowledging
and removing these nancial
pressures on the district, andfor moving forward with us in partnering in the Heery case.”Heery managed the schoolSPLOST system from 2002-2006. In 2006 the school sys-tem terminated the companyciting overbilling and ques-tionable work. Heery thensued DeKalb County SchoolDistrict for $400,000 that itsaid the system still owed thecompany. The school systemthen countersued for $100million alleging fraud andclaiming that the companymismanaged projects.Under a previous contin-gency agreement with King &Spalding, the school districtwould have been saddled with$30 million in legal expensesif the school district settledagainst the advice of its legalcounsel. The new agreementeliminates that provision andremoves from taxpayers allfuture legal fees and expensesassociated with the case.“The agreement the board
DeKalb school board votes to save millions in legal fees
See Millions on Page 10A
NOTICE OF MEETING OF THE ATLANTA CITY COUNCIL TO ADOPT ATLANTA’SFISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET
Notice is hereby given that the Atlanta CityCouncil will meet on Monday, June 17, 2013to consider and adopt the City of Atlanta’s
scal year 2014 budget (13-O-0619). The
meeting will be held at the Atlanta City Hall
Complex, 55 Trinity Avenue, Atlanta, Geor-
gia in the City Council Chambers located
on the second oor beginning at 1:00 p.m.All concerned citizens are invited to attend.
A copy of the proposed budget legislation
(13-O-0619) is on le in the ofce of theMunicipal Clerk, City Hall, 55 Trinity Ave.,Suite 2700, Atlanta, Ga. 30303 for publicinspection.