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Date Posted: 13:36:09 09/21/09 Mon
Author: Donald F. Valtman
Subject: Re: Caution post contains spoiler
In reply to: Larry 's message, "Caution post contains spoiler" on 02:36:26 09/20/09 Sun

Larry:

Now that we agree the BoE's lawsuit against the State is 100% about money, let's talk about the MONEY upsides and downsides of GCPSS going 'all in' on the Jimmy Carter Boulevard (JCB) TAD.
By the way, I truly respect your strong belief in Georgia charter school law as reflected in your post on another web site. Unfortunately, 'laws' don't always seem to be enforced -- as common folk believe they should be -- by politicians. Think what action Georgia's Attorney General has taken re: secret meetings by BoE members to buy land for new schools.

THE MONEY UPSIDE FOR GCPSS:
IF all the rosy forecasts materialize, GCPSS's local property tax take would increase some $250 Million per year AFTER some 15-25 years! Remember, incremental tax revenues generated by this TAD have to FIRST be used to pay down the debt on the estimated $93+ Million TAD bond to be issued by Gwinnett County.

THE MONEY DOWNSIDE FOR GCPSS:
GCPSS has to commit to live on TODAY's local property tax take from the area proposed to become the JCB TAD for the NEXT 15-25 YEARS! Remember, going 'all in' means GCPSS agrees to 'freeze' today's property tax revenue from the proposed JCB TAD area for the next 15-25 years.

THE MONEY UPSIDES FOR GWINNETT TAXPAYERS:
Can't think of any.

THE MONEY DOWNSIDES FOR GWINNETT TAXPAYERS:

1) Unrealistic forecasts! Does any Gwinnettian really believe that the proposed JCB TAD -- which represents LESS than 1% of the County-wide tax digest -- will increase County SALES TAX collections by $4.3 Million per year and produce $10.4 Million in NEW ANNUAL PROPERTY TAXES after build-out? Think actual results versus similar wild a-- forecasts from Partnership/Gwinnett re: number of new businesses and jobs it was going to attract; from the current BoC that its farm team Stadium will pay for itself from day one; etc.

2) Double taxation! (Refer to the JCB TAD Redevelopment Plan prepared for the BoC) Some proposed TAD projects are nondefensible (elimination of the median on Jimmy Carter Boulevard when medians are viewed favorably by other CIDs and recently have been installed on Hwys 20 and 78) along with some TAD projects being fundable from other sources (proposed transportation infrastructure projects at I-85 and Singleton Road which are partially/wholly fundable by federal stimulus dollars as "shovel ready" projects).

3) ALL County taxpayers are on-the-financial hook and at the mercy of the current BoC for the life of any TAD it approves! Regardless of what TAD proponents say, HB 63 -- as passed by the Georgia House and Senate -- provides that (a) a County's GENERAL funds CAN be tapped to pay for an approved TAD that can't meet its financial obligations for various reasons, (b) after Georgia voters passed the recent Constitutional Amendment, the BoC DOESN'T have to schedule any voter referendums on just about ANYTHING it wants to do re: an approved TAD, and (c) once approved by the CURRENT BoC, ALL FUTURE BoCs are BOUND by the decisions of the CURRENT BoC for the life of such TAD.

Lots of other stuff, but just a few closing observations. Just because a little 'growth' is good doesn't mean that more and more and more growth is better still. That was the Wayne Hill/Charles Bannister era philosophy and we now know where that philosophy got us!
Politicians/promoters can promise just about ANYTHING they want -- and NOTHING happens if their promises aren't fulfilled.
Sure, future growth of charter schools can turn $850,000 into REAL money. But $850,000 is a rounding error compared to what BoE approval of the JCB TAD can cost GCPSS and Gwinnett taxpayers based on the identical probability of future growth in TADs. And there's 4 more Gwinnett County CIDs already in waiting to request TAD status from a receptive, tax-and-spend BoC.

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