Morning Metro: Annexation Opposition, Record Shop Reopens in Oak Grove, and the Secret History of Coke

30 thoughts on “Morning Metro: Annexation Opposition, Record Shop Reopens in Oak Grove, and the Secret History of Coke”


  1. I am not a fan of taxation without representation, however one could argue that these property owners – who are concerned about losing a competitive advantage – already have a significant competitive advantage over the rest of Decatur in that they have access to our higher income trade area without the higher tax burden.

    One could also argue that over time the taxes in Dekalb will have to converge toward Decatur rates given the cityhood losses to the north, but at least as part of Decatur you know what you’re getting for those higher rates.

    And finally, these sites could become sought after for redevelopment as part of Decatur under the right kind of zoning, which could make these guys a lot of money. But I guess cash cow rents from Jiffy Lube are a lot easier to wrap your mind around, and I suspect such a land grab could be challenged in court.

    1. These shopping centers were there long before CoD became a desirable area. It’s pretty slimy to come along now and act like CoD is doing them some sort of favor.

        1. I’m not making a specific stipulation. But those of us who have been in the area since, say, the early ’90s, know that Decatur was not anything like it is today.

    2. I am not a fan of taxation without representation, however one could argue that these property owners – who are concerned about losing a competitive advantage – already have a significant competitive advantage over the rest of Decatur in that they have access to our higher income trade area without the higher tax burden.

      _________________

      Even if one could argue this — and I think it is a big stretch — Decatur never did argue it. The City made quite clear that this is all about grabbing revenue, not about some sort of local protection racket in favor of disadvantaged COD businesses.

    3. If cities like Decatur continue to annex only the business properties, your are right that the taxes will be the same in cities and unincorporated Dekalb.. This does not mean it is OK to do so at the disadvantage of those not wishing to or not able to be a part of a city. Those of us left will have to move or deal with higher taxes due to cities like Decatur grabbing up all of the revenue producing properties. This type of revenue grabbing stinks.

      1. I don’t support this FYI but was just trying to add a different point of view. I’m also not inclined to look at a strip center owner as some sort of opressed character.

        1. I need to clarify. Those disadvantaged would be the homeowners whose taxes would rise if more revenue producing properties were grabbed up by cities. I wasn’t clear on this.

        2. ” I’m also not inclined to look at a strip center owner as some sort of opressed character.”
          +1

              1. Not wrong. That is exactly what you said and I had the exact same response when I read your post. Their wealth or status is 100% irrelevent in determining whether we should annex the properties. Besides, when is anyone here going to realize that consumers will ultimately bear the tax increase (granted, not all consumers are CoD residents, but the business owners aren’t going to absorb this loss)?

                1. I said absolutely zero about their wealth status and I don’t care if they are rich or poor. My issue is that strip centers are one of the least creative forms of development and do little to enhance the community in which they sit. By the tone of this discussion you’d think we were talking about foreclosing on an orphanage. I don’t support the anexation but I also don’t buy their story about the devastating consequences of anexation. They don’t want to pay more taxes – neither do I! – but retail property in the city of decatur is and will remain valuable and sought after either way.

                  I just think it’s hilarious that on one thread we’re saying screw Selig’s right to build a walmart, while on another thread we’re talking about protecting Selig’s right to not be bound by our standards.

                  1. Bo, I agree it is not exactly what you said but it is a pretty straightforward implication, and it’s reasonable to infer that was your intention from your post. I think it is also reasonable to infer that others do feel precisely that way, as certain Decaturites seem to be doing mental cartwheels to rationalize this bit of the rich stealing from the even richer. But you have now clarified that was not your intent and I certainly accept that.

                  2. Of course no one wants to pay more in taxes, but at least you had the option to decide what was best for your finances, in COD, or outside. These businesses for whatever reason, made a conscious decision to locate themselves outside of city limits. It hardly seems right that after they make the the decision, the city comes along and demand they start paying more, leaving them with absolutely no recourse.

                    Shopping Center Owners Call Annexation Government Overreach

                    http://northdruidhills.patch.com/articles/shopping-center-owners-call-annexation-government-overreach#comments_list

  2. I’ve written the members of the DeKalb Legislative Delegation asking them to oppose this proposed annexation.

  3. Does it really cost businesses 30% more to be in the CoD? How do they survive when it would be 30% cheaper to operate at Suburban Plaza, Toco Hill, or the fantastic location of Northlake Mall?

    Where does the “30%” increases in taxes come from?

    1. Also, the 30% is just one tax (property) as far as I can tell. I tried to figure this out, but my expertise is not as a CPA. Business license wouldn’t be any higher (again as far as my limited research has deduced), and all of their other operating expenses would be the same, so 30% would not be their overall increase in running the center. Not sure what percentage it truly is.

      Also, the dreaded “more red tape” argument doesn’t hold much water. Since they would be under Decatur for business licensing, they would probably have more influence as they would be bigger fish in a much smaller pond.

      They mention they didn’t get a say in the zoning ordinance changes. Unless they plan on adding accessory dwelling units behind the Publix, they don’t have much to worry about.

      As I have mentioned before, cities grow. It is what they do, and it isn’t for altruistic reasons. I am sorry the businesses will pay a higher tax, but that is the risk of having a property close to the city limits. If you want to ensure county taxes for all time, buy/build a shopping center in the middle of nowhere.

      1. Looking at the Los Loros and Publix centers, the variance in the millage rate equates to a 2.51% property tax increase. Each property currently has a 15% lower temporary assessment in place. I can only get to a 20% increase in taxes if you consider the county millage rate on the lower assessment compared to the city millage rate on the full, non-discounted assessment.

        That’s why I asked where the 30% increase is calculated. Maybe there are city retail licenses, beer/wine licenses, food licenses, etc. that would be 27.5% higher than in unincorporated DeKalb.
        What is the “real” cost to the commercial owners, tenants, etc.?

          1. Decatur taxes on 50% of the assessed value of a property, DeKalb taxes on 40%. Maybe that’s the difference?

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