Calculator With Financial Report

City Council Studies Financing Tool For North Point Improvements

Released September 26, 2019 03:30 PM

With a plan in place for revitalizing its North Point District, an 898-acre area centered on North Point Mall, the City of Alpharetta is now studying ideas for financing a variety of public improvements outlined in that plan.  Ranging from changes to district roadways, pedestrian improvements, and creation of public green spaces, those public projects carry an estimated cost in excess of $156 million; although, it is anticipated that some of the funding would come from federal and state grants.

During a recent presentation to the Alpharetta City Council, consultant Geoff Koski educated elected officials on one tool that could be used to generate local revenues for the projects, a Tax Allocation District (TAD).  Koski’s firm, Bleakly Advisory Group, is considered to be an expert on TADs and has helped plan and implement most of the allocation districts operating in Georgia.

Sometimes referred to as tax increment financing, a TAD would enable the City to invest the incremental growth in property taxes within the North Point District on public improvements in that area.  The taxes already being generated by properties in the district at the time the TAD is established, however, would continue to flow into the general tax revenues of the City, County, and School Board to be used as they are today.  No new taxes are imposed through a TAD nor are property millage rates impacted.

Properties within the North Point District currently have a taxable value of $268.8 million or 4.98% of the City’s total tax digest.  They generate just under $1.3 million in property taxes for the City of Alpharetta annually, and a combined $9.07 million in combined taxes for the City, County, and Fulton County Schools.  Based on the City’s plan for the North Point District, however, the taxable value of those properties could increase to $546.8 million over the next 10 to 15 years as the private sector makes investments in its properties, which would generate a combined $18.5 million in annual property taxes.

Koski explained that, based on his projections, a TAD formed to support the North Point District would finance between $65 million and $88 million over a 25 to 30-year period that could be directed towards specific public improvements while the current $9.07 million continues to fund general government operations.  Other revenues, such as the Board of Education’s ESPLOST which Koski forecasts would grow to $1.7 million annually under the plan, would continue to accrue and be paid directly to the appropriate taxing authority.

Koski warned, however, that the values of the properties within the North Point District and the tax revenues they generate will not grow and could very possibly decrease if a concerted public investment in not made in the area.

Following Koski’s presentation City Council directed staff from the Finance and Community Development Departments to continue to work to develop a funding package, including the tax allocation district, for further consideration and discussion.