COLUMBUS, Ga. – Several areas around Columbus are set for redevelopment. Approved tax allocation districts (TAD’s) will see improvements soon, as council unanimously decided to take 40% of property taxes in the four different TAD’s.
“I think it’s a tremendous economic development tool that we have,” city councilor Judy Thomas said.
Thomas echoes the entire council’s praise over TAD’s because they would fund what they call necessary improvements to be done in blighted or rundown areas.
“There needs to be some economic revitalization,” Thomas explained. “There also needs to be some infrastructure corrections, if you will. Whatever property taxes we receive within those boundaries as of the date of the TAD, would be frozen.”
Columbus city manager Isaiah Hugley says combined with the anticipated school district’s 60% of property taxes in the TAD’s, projects should receive full funding. However, he’s still prepared for a worst-case scenario.
“If the school district decided that they didn’t want to enter into an agreement, we would still be able to move forward with the TADS,” Hugley said.
The Housing Authority presented an initiative before council Tuesday to update them on renovating public housing. This would be funded by RAD, or Rental Assistance Demonstration through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 13 public housing units in Columbus will undergo change by the end of the decade through the RAD program. For Hugley, these changes are near and dear to his heart.
“I’m a product of public housing,” Hugley said.
Hugley and Mayor Teresa Tomlinson say the Housing Authority’s initiative is lifting the negative stigma on public housing.
“It’s extraordinary what they’ve done with public housing, integrating them with regular market priced homes and giving them a different environment and quality of life,” Hugley said.