ATLANTA -The Atlanta City Council on Monday made more progress towards bringing the historic BeltLine tax allocation district project to fruition by approving a $120 million bond deal for its development.
The council also approved the issuance of debt for another TAD project referred to as the Westside. It will total $80 million. Officials tout both projects as being crucial to economic progress in the city.
Currently, one of the main revenue streams for TAD development that was to be used is off limits due to a lawsuit. Recently the state's supreme court ruled that school tax dollars could not be used to back TADs. The city must now rely on revenues collected by itself and the county.
Voters will weigh in on the issue in November to determine if school-related tax dollars can be used for TAD projects.
Under a five-year plan developed for the BeltLine, most of the bond proceeds will be used for the acquisition and preparation of a transit right-of-way.
Bonds for the Westside project will be issued as subordinate-lien tax allocation development bonds in one or more series.
The bonds for all of the city's tax allocation districts will be sold by the Atlanta Development Authority.
The underwriters for the BeltLine are Wachovia Bank NA, Jackson Securities LLC, and SunTrust Capital Markets, according to the ordinance the council approved this year.
Richard Lutch, the finance director for Atlanta BeltLine Inc., said the bonds for the project were slated to be sold on Sept. 17. They have a final maturity of 2031.
"Something important that I think should be pointed out is that these bonds are not the only funding source for the BeltLine," Lutch said.
Lutch said that the project was still on course to be properly funded.