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Community-Driven Efforts Revitalize College Hill Corridor, Increase City Tax Base Economic Analysis Shows Increase in Property Values and Tax Incidence MACON – Efforts by the College Hill Corridor, residents, and partners are having a significant impact on our entire community, according to a recent study. From 2002-2011, property taxes paid in the College Hill Corridor increased more than they did in the City of Macon or Bibb County over the same period. The Center for Economic Analysis in Middle Georgia State College’s School of Business conducted the study and found that:     

Property tax revenue within the College Hill Corridor increased at almost double the rate of Bibb County. Property tax income increased 57% in College Hill versus 30% for Bibb County as a whole. From 2002 to 2011, total property tax income increased by nearly $1,000,000 within College Hill alone. Much of this increase was due to rehabilitation of abandoned houses and construction on empty land, meaning crime was reduced, blight was eliminated, and taxpayers saved money by avoiding demolition. Property tax increases from downtown and intown areas are especially important for City, County, and School Board coffers because it’s a double win: costs are reduced while revenue increases.

“By engaging the community, building partnerships, and focusing efforts in a specific area, the College Hill Corridor is successfully revitalizing a neighborhood and having a positive impact on all of Macon-Bibb County,” says Macon Mayor Robert Reichert. “And their success has not gone unnoticed as other groups – Historic Hills & Heights, Legacy Builders in East Macon, and the City’s 5x5 Program – are seeking to replicate that success by focusing revitalization efforts and partnerships in targeted areas.” According to Josh Rogers, Executive Director of Historic Macon, “These statistics prove a fact that we already knew was true from living and working here: private investments in historic preservation are making intown neighborhoods beautiful, safe, vibrant, and valuable. In tough times, the investments through this partnership may be the single most important tactic in balancing public budgets. We have proven a system that could save thousands more historic buildings in neighborhoods across the city.” According to Heather Bowman Cutway, Chair of the College Hill Corridor Commission, “So many people have worked hard to transform the College Hill into a vibrant community, so it is no surprise that it has become a desirable place to live, work and play.” The analysis of the values was completed by the Center for Economic Analysis, but the data for the two-square mile area was collected by a group of Mercer Law School students. A year was spent building a data set of more than 1,500 noncommercial properties that includes assessed values of the properties, millage rates, taxes collected from the county, the school system and the city, and total taxes collected. The study was funded with a Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant and coordinated by Mercer Law Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore, former co-chair of the College Hill Corridor Commission. The local law firm of James, Bates, Pope and Spivey volunteered space and provided training for the students and legal services. About the College Hill Alliance & Corridor Initially established with a grant to Mercer University from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2009, the College Hill Alliance assists the community in creating positive change to the physical and social fabric of the College Hill Corridor, a two-square mile area between Mercer’s campus and Macon’s downtown business district. For more information on the College Hill Corridor improvements and efforts, as well as current project, please visit collegehillmacon.com or contact Jessica Walden at the College Hill Alliance: 478.301.2014 / jessica@collegehillmacon.com.

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