ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed announced today that the agreement between the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Board of Education has been finalized, following votes of the Atlanta Board of Education, the Atlanta City Council, and the boards of Invest Atlanta and the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
“A healthy BeltLine means a healthier, stronger Atlanta Public School system and a stronger City of Atlanta,” said Mayor Reed. “I offer my congratulations to Chairman English, to the Atlanta City Council and to the BeltLine for reaching this important milestone. This agreement guarantees revenues for the Atlanta Public Schools while also removing a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the BeltLine. The promise of our young people is equally exciting as the potential to connect 45 neighborhoods and 22 schools through the most comprehensive community and economic development project ever undertaken in our city. We are all winners today.”
The Atlanta Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the agreement in a special-called meeting held on Friday, January 29, after Mayor Reed and Board Chairman Courtney English announced the agreement. During today’s meeting of the Atlanta City Council, legislation sponsored by Councilmembers Kwanza Hall, Andre Dickens and Alex Wan passed 13-2. The boards of Invest Atlanta and the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. also met today and each voted unanimously.
The Atlanta Public Schools receives more than fifty cents of over dollar of property taxes paid in the City of Atlanta. The Atlanta BeltLine has been one of the primary and largest drivers of increasing property tax values in the City of Atlanta in the last decade, and with approximately $400 million in public investment, has driven $2.4 billion in private investment. As the BeltLine increases property values and boosts the tax digest, the Atlanta Public Schools benefit from increased revenues.
The Eastside Trail, completed in 2012, sees more than one million visitors each year, and has contributed to the economic and cultural resurgence of its surrounding neighborhoods. The $43 million Southwest Trail is currently under construction, and represents the single-largest expansion of the BeltLine in its history. Once complete, the BeltLine will connect 45 neighborhoods and 22 schools and learning institutions across the city.