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Project Jackson vote set for Tuesday by the Aiken County school board

Monday, Aug 12, 2013 5:17 PM
Last updated 8:05 PM
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A vote scheduled Tuesday could make or break a proposed $150 million development on the North Augusta riverfront.

The Aiken County school board is expected to approve or reject a 30-year Tax Incremental Financing district to fund Project Jackson, which includes a baseball stadium, parking deck and conference center near Hammond’s Ferry.

The plan would lock county schools into financing 11 percent of the costs. The school district could opt out of the TIF agreement after 15 years and avoid having to contribute its funding for baseball stadium construction.

The plan comes after months of negotiations that allowed project leaders to rework it after concerns surfaced with funding methods.

In May, North Augusta officials offered a new financial model to the school board that allows North Augusta to collect property taxes through the TIF district – meaning it would get tax revenue on the incremental difference between rising Aiken County property values and values frozen at 1996 levels for 30 years.

The previous plan counted on 20 percent of financing to come from the school board. Approval is also required from the Aiken County Council, which denied the original TIF proposal in March.

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Beattybugs 08/13/13 - 08:15 am
Aiken County Taxpayers take note!

The key developer in this project has a history of defaulting on loans and is currently in the middle of a lawsuit with the Bank of America for defaulting on a $4.5 million dollar loan. After defaulting he did not put forward the collateral he promised the bank, he sold it and kept the proceeds.
In 2009 at Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in a downtown development project, he was two years behind schedule and was fined $2.4 million dollars.

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