One of Ge­or­gia’s largest coun­ties con­sid­ers bat­tling blight with tax

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - OBITUARIES -

MA­CON, Ga. — One of Ge­or­gia’s largest com­mu­ni­ties could soon see a tax on its most down­trod­den prop­er­ties.

The Tele­graph re­ports that the so-called blight tax be­ing con­sid­ered by the con­sol­i­dated Ma­con-Bibb govern­ment is aimed at get­ting own­ers to clean up or re­move di­lap­i­dated build­ings.

The blight tax, which is sched­uled to be dis­cussed by the Ma­con-Bibb County Com­mis­sion on Tues­day, would be in the form of a higher prop­erty tax in the cen­tral Ge­or­gia com­mu­nity.

The tax would be one step aimed at ad­dress­ing a coun­ty­wide prob­lem, Com­mis­sioner Joe Allen said. The tax would be as­sessed to own­ers of the “worst of the worst” un­oc­cu­pied res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial prop­er­ties, he said.

“I feel like we have ev­ery­thing in place to put this into ef­fect as soon as pos­si­ble,” Allen said. “I want blight gone in Ma­con-Bibb County.”

The blight tax pro­posal is mod­eled af­ter a pro­gram that’s been in place in Sa­van­nah the past two years, the Ma­con news­pa­per re­ported. Al­to­gether, the city has charged $158,000 in blight tax to 118 prop­er­ties, ac­cord­ing to Sa­van­nah’s pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer.

Ma­con-Bibb County now has about 1,566 struc­tures cat­e­go­rized as be­ing in poor con­di­tion or are sug­gested for de­mo­li­tion, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures from the Ma­conBibb blight con­sul­tant Cass Hatcher.

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