Voters reject measure that would have allowed TADs in unincorporated parts of Whitfield County

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Mar. 17—Whitfield County voters on Tuesday rejected a measure that would have given the county Board of Commissioners the power to create tax allocation districts (TADs).

Voters rejected a referendum that would have given commissioners the ability to use Georgia's 1985 Redevelopment Powers Law to create TADs by 1,986 votes (58.24%) to 1,395 (40.90%), with just 6.06% of registered voters casting a ballot.

"While the Redevelopment Act might have given the county a new tool for growth, we fully respect the will of the voters and will move forward building a better Whitfield through other means," said Board of Commissioners Chairman Jevin Jensen. "Our county has many great assets, and even more importantly, great people. We welcome all their ideas and efforts to improve our community."

TADs freeze the value at which a property can be taxed for general revenue. Taxes collected on additional value created by improvements to the property are dedicated to pay for infrastructure, public artwork or other amenities to attract a developer or developers to that area.

Voters in 2014 gave the city councils of Cohutta, Dalton, Tunnel Hill and Varnell the authority to create TADs. So far, only the Dalton City Council has exercised those powers, creating four.

Whitfield County voters rejected TADs in 2014 by 8,554 votes to 6,299 (57.59% to 42.41%).