Bryan County officials are considering a tax allocation district near the Belfast Commerce Centre area as an option to help fund a $15 million interchange project at Interstate 95 — and are seeking legislative approval to do so.
At the board’s regular meeting Tuesday in the County Administrative Complex, the board unanimously approved a request for state Rep. Ron Stephens, who serves South Bryan County, to seek during the 2013 legislative session putting a TAD up for a vote in Bryan County.
A TAD allows a city or county to use increased property-tax revenues to fund infrastructure or redevelopment costs within a specifically designed area, according to the Georgia Municipal Association website.
Ray Pittman, who takes over Jan. 1 for Phil Jones as the county administrator, said Tuesday the board must first get the General Assembly’s OK to put the question to county voters. Since legislative approval is needed, it is best to request it in this legislative session, he said.
“The quickest we could go to the taxpayers to ask permission to do this would be November,” Pittman said. “But in order for us to go to the voters in November, we’ve got to go to the Legislature and have it (heard) in the January, February or March time frame.”
County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed noted that even if the Legislature allows the county to ask for the TAD, it doesn’t mean the county has to implement it.
“We can seek local legislation, and then decide not to have a vote,” he said. “We just need it in place, if that’s the direction we’re going, because our Legislature only meets January through March and if you don’t get in there early, then you have to wait another year to get approval. But you can get it approved and then decide when to vote on it later.”
Read more in the Dec. 15 edition of the News.