Atlanta’s Eastside TAD has yet to fulfill vision or plan; Mayor Reed wants it closed, taxes used elsewhere

An urban renewal program that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed proposes to close has achieved less than half the goals that were outlined in 2005, and it has a long way to go toward fulfilling its mission as stated when it was created in 2003, city records show.

When the Eastside TAD was created, the vision was for it to spark $1.51 billion in private and public/private investments. The result has been an additional $300 million in increased property value through 2010, the latest reporting year readily available in city records.

Reed proposes to close the Eastside Tax Allocation District in order to free about $5 million a year for use in the citywide budget. Currently, this amount of property taxes can be spent only to promote development within the borders of the Eastside TAD.

Falcons stadium: An uphill fight to right a community beset by wrongs

“I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

That sentence, popularized by President Reagan, could well sum up the first challenge facing the effort to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods around the future Falcons stadium.

From the 2006 shooting death of Kathryn Johnston by Atlanta police during a botched drug raid, to the cheating scandal that touched Bethune Elementary School, to recurrent flooding problems – the neighborhoods of English Avenue and Vine City have seen plenty of efforts to help them either go no where or go awry.

Neighborhood residents have their own share of problems, as well.