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New Report Examines Landscape of Georgia’s Community Improvement Districts

June 29,2016

Community improvement districts (CIDs) are an increasingly popular method of promoting economic growth in Georgia, with 25 active CIDs currently. In these special districts, property owners voluntarily tax themselves to fund a range of public improvements and services to support business.

In a new report, “Georgia’s Community Improvement Districts,” the Center for State and Local Finance examines the landscape of Georgia’s CIDs, focusing on their evolution and key characteristics, as well as providing an in-depth analysis of five select districts.

The comprehensive analysis serves as a much-needed guide to Georgia’s CIDs. Among numerous findings, the report:

  • Provides the most public and up-to-date list of Georgia’s CIDs, including recently formed Atlanta Aerotropolis CIDs (the Airport South and Airport West CIDs) and Little Five Points CID
  • Highlights Georgia’s business improvement districts (BIDs), a lesser-known model of improvement districts in the state that tends to be farther from metro Atlanta and unlike CIDs, may tax residential properties
  • Examines the organizational structure of Georgia CIDs as compared to Georgia BIDs and four neighboring southeastern states BIDs (Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee)
  • Discusses evolutionary trends in CIDs since their inception in the 1980s, including the increasing diversity in services provided by CIDs
  • Identifies funding sources used by Georgia’s CIDs, such as the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, where more than 60 percent of loans and grants have gone to CIDs
  • Takes an in-depth look at five select CIDs (Cumberland CID in Cobb County, the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, South Fulton CID, Evermore CID in Gwinnett County, and Georgia Gateway CID in Camden County near the Florida border)

As a whole, the report shows that Georgia CIDs have considerable autonomy and authority, which has allowed them to spearhead ambitious, complex economic development projects. This has significantly influenced development in metro Atlanta, though CIDs are gaining momentum in other parts of the state.

With nine new CIDs created in the past five years, this report is a timely look at an increasingly prevalent economic development tool that has proved useful in revitalizing cities and counties throughout the state.

Download the study.  →

Read the presentation. →