Funding could go toward improvements in East Macon if the Board of Education and commission approve a new tax allocation district. The tax allocation district would generate a funding source for improvements across East Macon.
One East Macon business owner, John Teipel, says something needs to be done to improve the area.
“I feel like it’s kind of a forgotten area,” says Teipel. He says he has worked in East Macon for 35 years.
“I've seen it go way down,” says Teipel, but he says the Ocmulgee Crossings tax allocation district could change the area.
“It'll encourage people to come over here if there are some good things, and it looks safe and it's clean,” says Teipel. Laura Mathis says they chose East Macon for the district because they saw great potential.
“The 16, 75 interchange and the redesigning of those gateways,” says Mathis. She says any property taxes from new developments goes into a fund for improvements within the district.
“Oh, this might be some place where a developer sees it, or an investor sees it as really attractive and we may want to capture that,” says Mathis.
This plan does not change any property tax rates. It only changes where some property taxes may go. For example, if you own a home inside of the tax allocation district, you will not see a difference in what you are paying in your property taxes. The only thing that will change is that if you added on to your home. The property taxes from that specific addition would go towards funding projects inside of the Tax Allocation District.
Funds from the tax district could go towards projects such as streetscape improvements, which Leon Hicks says could bring him more neighbors.
“Extra businesses would bring people out to come move out to the neighborhood,” says Hicks.
The tax allocation district still needs approval from board of education and the Bibb County Commissioners, but Teipel says just knowing the county sees potential in East Macon is encouraging.
“It encourages me to stay here,” says Teipel.
Mathis says before the county sends the plan to the Board of Education for approval, they want to get the public's input. The county will hold a public hearing on the plan Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at the Bibb County Government Center.
Mary Grace Shaw, 13WMAZ