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Council approves one Midtown TAD, postpones decision on the other

Consultant Ken Bleakly, right, answers questions from Columbus Councilors concerning tax allocation districts proposed for midtown Columbus.
Consultant Ken Bleakly, right, answers questions from Columbus Councilors concerning tax allocation districts proposed for midtown Columbus. mowen@ledger-enquuirer.com

Columbus Council on Tuesday approved one of two Tax Allocation Districts proposed for midtown Columbus and delayed a decision on the other.

The two proposed districts are known as Midtown East and Midtown West.

Councilor Mike Baker, whose council district includes parts of the Midtown East district, asked his fellow councilors to delay deciding until he could get more information. The proposal to delay was passed unanimously, putting that decision off at least until the next regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 10.

Council did vote to approve the Midtown West TAD unanimously.

The West district is the larger of the two, covering 942 parcels on about 325 acres. It is intended to support the development of higher density mixed-use commercial developments along Wynnton and Buena Vista Roads, 10th to 13th Avenues and Five Points, where 13th Avenue, 17th Street and Linwood Boulevard intersect.

The East district includes 61 parcels totaling 93 acres, and is proposed to support further commercial revitalization along the Macon Road Corridor in the eastern section of MidTown near Exit 6 of I-185. It is intended to support future commercial infill development surrounding the Cross Country Plaza and MidTown Shopping Centers.

When a TAD is approved the city can issue revenue bonds to remedy infrastructure and environmental problems and other issues that might keep potential developers at bay. The renovations pave the way for investors to develop commercial and residential projects that increase revenue and can create jobs.

The extra tax revenue created by the development is then used to repay the revenue bonds over the life of the TAD, usually 20-30 years. Then the extra revenue goes into city and school district coffers. During the life of the TAD, the city and schools receive the same property tax proceeds from the district that they would have received otherwise, so TADs do not cut into existing revenue.

Council approved the city’s first TAD in December 2015. It involves the proposed Benning Technology Park, which is intended to attract high-tech defense contractors to the park, which will be situated near the Main Gate to Fort Benning.

Council approved the second, third and fourth TADs in mid March. They involve the Liberty District, Uptown Columbus and the area between TSYS and Bibb City, where the City Village project is planned.

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