More than $300 million needed to fund remainder of Atlanta BeltLine

Planners said they need more money to complete the Atlanta BeltLine.

Approximately two-thirds of the 22-mile ribbon of green space and development still has to be completed.

"We are at an inflection point with the beltline," Clyde Higgs, a BeltLine official, told Atlanta City Council members at a hearing Tuesday.

Major projects on the south and west, and to some degree on the northside, have been designed. More than $300 million in new funding will be necessary to meet the pledge by the year 2030.

Officials explained they got behind because, under the original plan, the project faced court challenges over how money from financial bonds must be spent. The new plan sets up a special services tax district, targeting commercial property owners in and around the BeltLine.

Howard Shook, one of the council members in attendance, clarified that new taxes also impact residents.

He asked and was told more than thirty-seven-thousand residents live in complexes around the corridor.  Any owner typically passes along those new costs.

BeltLine executives contend the massive project is a net positive. "We are tracking 20,000 jobs created by the beltline by 2030," Higgs said.

There will be more community meetings before the city council will be asked to approve new taxes.

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