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RH moves ahead with plan to create TAD
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Richmond Hill voted Tuesday to move forward with the process of creating its first Tax Allocation District, or TAD, in what is being billed as an effort to redevelop areas around the city’s older I-95 interchanges.

“It’s been a long time coming, and it’s going to be key to the redevelopment of Exit 87 and other areas,” Mayor Russ Carpenter said. The proposed TAD includes eight potential redevelopment projects in an area consisting of 157 parcels on more than 567 acres at the I-95 interchanges at Highway 17 and Highway 144, to north of 17 where the two highways intersect.

The approval means the city will now start negotiating with Bryan County commissioners and school board officials over taxes. The city has until Dec. 31 to work out details, according to Assistant City Manager Scott Allison.

Officials say properties in such a district have a base rate assessment when the TAD is established and those taxes continue to go to local taxing authorities.

Projected increases in tax revenue based on higher property values in a TAD due to redevelopment go to either fund improvements or pay back bonds issued in advance to help provide infrastructure in the areas.

The city’s consultant, Ken Bleakly, told county officials the city could see as much as $230 million in new investment to the city in a 10 year period.

Editor’s note The TAD vote came on a busy night for council, as officials waded through a number of planning and zoning and other items. More coverage to follow.

Richmond Hill, Bryan County impasse at end?

Richmond Hill and Bryan County officials appear to be ready to end a 3-year legal fight over how services to residents are delivered, and paid for, after recent moves by both the Bryan County Commission and Richmond City Council to reach agreement on state mandated service delivery strategy.

The issue also affects Pembroke, but was primarily a disagreement between Richmond Hill and Bryan County prompted by the county’s tax equalization, which led to millage rate increase for city residents in 2018. The city sued the county in August 2018.

Since then, the three sides have been in court-ordered mediation trying to come to an agreement. Read more in next week’s BCN.

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