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Published on April 18th, 2016 |

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BCID votes to fund study about adding multi-family units to its tax base

The Buckhead Community Improvement District (BCID) board April 15 voted to help fund—along with possibly four other area CIDs—a study that could lead to the CIDs being able to levy an additional 3 mils of property taxes, fees and assessments on multi-family housing, both apartments and condominiums, in their districts.bcidlogo

Up until now, CIDs could only levy the additional property taxes, etc., from commercial (office) developments and retail center owners. Single-family homes are now exempt from the additional taxes, fees and assessments and reportedly would remain exempt.

The proposal was brought up at the end of the BCID’s April board meeting, with Executive Director Jim Durrett requesting the board to authorize $8,600 as the BCID’s share of the cost for the $43,000 study, which would be conducted by the Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.

Other CIDs that likely would be involved in the study include Midtown and Downtown Atlanta and the Perimeter and Cumberland area organizations. Durrett said he did not know what

BCID Chairman David Allman, left, and Executive Director Jim Durrett during the April 15 board meeting.

BCID Chairman David Allman, left, and Executive Director Jim Durrett during the April 15 board meeting.

actions the other CIDs have taken or plan to take on the study.

Durrett said the study was proposed to the CIDs by former Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce President Sam Williams, who is a Buckhead resident.

During the BCID’s brief discussion of the proposal, BuckheadView suggested there seemed to be a distinction between apartment buildings and condo buildings in that the units in condo buildings are essentially single-family homes, although clustered in a single building, with the unit owners paying property taxes.

BuckheadView suggested that apartment buildings seem to essentially act like a commercial retail or office building, where space is rented to individuals who do not pay any property taxes.

Almost to a person, BCID board members—all of which are commercial developers of office or retail properties—felt renters and condo owners should be made to pay for the extra services the CIDs are providing, even if they do not have a voice in the determination of those services.

It also appears that the adoption of such a taxation plan for multi-family units would allow the BCID to expand south along Peachtree Road from its present boundary at The Peach shopping center–as it

City Councilman Howard Shook

City Councilman Howard Shook

has often said it would like to–through an area that is predominantly single-family home neighborhoods with many condo and apartment buildings.

Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook, who also is a member of the BCID board, questioned the wisdom of the timing of this study when voters had just approved a 1 percent MOST tax for city’s Department of Watershed Management and are being asked to approve another 1 percent SPLOST for transportation purposes.

Shook also pointed out there would likely be little need for all the commercial development in Buckhead if there were very few residents to support it.

Asked what the procedure would be for getting this approved following the study, no one seemed totally sure whether it would require a state constitutional amendment or simply legislative action, and also whether it would require any type of referendum.

So far, there was no indication that the condo owners or renters in apartments (or even the owners of apartment developments) would have a say in the matter.

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    One Response to BCID votes to fund study about adding multi-family units to its tax base

    1. Jill Chambers says:

      It would require a Constitutional Amendment to tax condos.

      Some apartments may be zoned commercial but the Constitution specifically states only non-residential may be assessed.

      From the Georgia Constitution:

      SECTION VII.
      COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS

      2(B)(c) The administrative body of each community improvement district may be authorized to levy taxes, fees, and assessments within the community improvement district only on real property used nonresidentially, specifically excluding all property used for residential, agricultural, or forestry purposes and specifically excluding tangible personal property and intangible property.

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