Atlanta'schief financial officer and the president of the Atlanta Development Authority in a joint statement said Fulton County tax commissioner Arthur E. Ferdinand is obligated to comply with a Fulton County Superior Court restraining order instructing him to turn over school property taxes for tax allocation districts in the city while his appeal of the order is being resolved by the Georgia Supreme Court.
CFO Janice Davis and authority president Peggy McCormick said in the statement thatif Ferdinand chooses not to comply with the restraining order, the city will take action to have him held in contempt of the Superior Court's order.
Ferdinand appealed a restraining order from the Fulton County Superior Court that ordered him to distribute the school property taxes that court-validated agreements specify must be used to help pay debt service for approximately $400 million of TAD bonds issued by Atlanta for various redevelopment projects.
Atlanta officials in a recent disclosure notice stated that the tax commissioner has misinterpreted the Georgia Supreme Court's recent decision in the case of Woodham v. City of Atlanta that said school property taxes could not be diverted to TADs. They said the Supreme Court's decision only applies to future TAD bond issues. They said the decision does not apply to outstanding court validated bonds for which the property taxes held in trust accounts, including the portion from the schools, are pledged as security to the respective bondholders.
The joint statement released earlier this week said the city cannot guarantee the results or timing of the final Supreme Court ruling related to the pending appeal but the city "reasonably believes that commissioner Ferdinand's obligations to deposit school district tax increments into the respective special funds which serve as security for validated city of Atlanta bonds will be enforced."