Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Georgia Association of REALTORS® Support Three Ballot Initiatives

The board of directors of the Georgia Association of REALTORS® has voted to support three ballot initiatives in the upcoming election. The REALTORS® are endorsing the following amendments to the Georgia Constitution: Forest Land Preservation; Tax Allocation Districts (or TAD’s); and Infrastructure Development Districts (IDD’s).

The REALTORS® support the preservation, conservation, and protection of the state's forests through the special assessment and taxation of certain forest lands proposed through the Forest Land preservation initiative. This amendment allows property owners of 200 acres or more to voluntarily preserve their land for a minimum of 15 years in return for a reduction in property taxes “The Forest Conservation Amendment is both environmentally friendly and pro-private property rights,” says John Shea, a REALTOR® from Monroe. He continues, “This amendment helps preserve Georgia’s natural beauty and gives property owners the choice to receive much needed tax relief.”

The REALTORS® also support the revitalization and redevelopment of blighted areas through the creation of Tax Allocation Districts. Kim Bragg of Augusta says, “As a REALTOR®, I understand the important role TAD’s can play in revitalizing our communities.”
She adds, “TAD's are a great tool for the redevelopment of blighted areas by providing capital investment without raising taxes.” This amendment would change the Georgia Constitution to authorize the use of school tax funds to finance tax allocation districts after all local government entities within the TAD, including the school district approved.

Finally, the REALTORS® support the creation of IDD’s through Amendment #3. The REALTORS® believe that IDD’s will help create jobs and spur economic development in rural areas as well as provide smart environmentally friendly developments across Georgia. “IDD’s are being utilized in our neighboring states to create crucial new developments in communities that cannot afford to invest in the necessary infrastructure,” says Tim Thornton, a REALTOR® from Macon. He continues, “IDD’s are good for economic development and good for Georgia.”

The Georgia Association of REALTORS®, the Voice for Real Estate in GeorgiaTM, is a voluntary professional association of approximately 40,000 licensed real estate brokers and salespersons engaged in all aspects of the real estate business throughout the state of Georgia.
GAR is the leading advocate for the real estate industry in Georgia, committed to protecting private property rights and free enterprise, maintaining ethical and professional standards, and enhancing the public’s awareness and confidence in REALTORS®
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