County signs off on TAD for downtown hotel
Matthew Strother News editor
County Commissioners approved Tuesday agreements for a tax-allocation district, or TAD, in downtown LaGrange for the planned Marriott hotel in the former Mansour’s building.
In August, the city, development authority, Callaway Foundation and developers signed off on an agreement outlining the hotel plans. The five-story, 100-room hotel, under the Marriott brand, is planned at the site of the former Mansour’s department store on the west side of the square. Directly behind the hotel, between it and Country’s Barbecue, will be a 200-space parking deck for hotel and public use.
LaGrange City Manager Tom Hall said the developer for the project is seeking new market tax credits, which have not yet been secured. With the TAD deal in place, Hall said the developer is optimistic on securing financing for the estimated $16 million project.
A TAD creates an area where local tax-collecting agencies – in this case the city, county and school system – agree to freeze their collection on the value of taxable property of a site for a set amount of time. Bonds are issued to pay for improvements at the site, and the increased property tax value resulting from improvements is diverted to repay the bonds.
County Manager Tod Tentler said the county currently collects no tax on the property, because the city owns it, but estimated with its current millage and value of the property that it would get about $7,400 annually, and the school system would receive almost twice that. That rate would stay in place for 30 years or until the bonds are paid off.
Hall said the project also would generate additional sales tax money and, in this case, hotel/motel taxes for the city, county and school system. The Callaway Foundation-funded parking deck will cost about $4 million, Hall said.
“The city feels real good about the project,” Hall said. “We hope you guys will agree to help us with it.”
Commission Chairman Ricky Wolfe said that “with what could have happened with the property, this is great.”
Commissioners unanimously approved the TAD resolutions. The Board of Education still will need to sign off on the agreements before it is official. Hall said the TAD needs to be approved by the end of the year in order for the bonds to be issued next year.
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