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Statesboro voters OK Redevelopment Powers Law
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Statesboro's Redevelopment Powers Law easily passed, according to unofficial election results released Tuesday night.

With all precincts reporting, 1,465 ballots, or 69 percent, were cast in favor of the law, and 659, or 31 percent, were against it.

So what exactly is it?

The Redevelopment Powers Law enables local governments, with a one-time voter approval, to designate blighted or underdeveloped areas as tax allocation districts. This neither creates a tax nor increases rates, but any growth in property tax revenue from new buildings and rising real estate values in a TAD must be spent on improvements benefitting the district. The law also empowers local governments to issue bonds for redevelopment projects to be repaid with the growth revenues.

So what exactly is it? That was the difficult part for the law's backers — explaining the complicated measure.

"I think it shows that our community has a vision for improving our downtown and our city by giving us the tools that we can use to help do that," said Allen Muldrew, the executive director of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority.

"When you highlight the things that other communities are doing, this wasn't something that we invented but that we had done a lot of research and found out that communities were very successful ... at removing blight and in redevelopment," Muldrew said.

Proponents pointed to TAD success stories such as Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

While the plans haven't been nailed down just yet, Muldrew said Statesboro's South Main Street area — particularly the area stretching from Georgia Southern University's main campus to the intersection of the Main streets — is a high priority.

"We would like something by the end of the year if not the first of the year," Muldrew said of when a TAD proposal might appear. "We're going to move pretty fast on it if the community is willing to."

Jason Wermers may be reached at (912) 489-9431.


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