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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

DeKalb City Council Approves Hunter Properties Taxing Zone

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Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco
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Mayor Jerry Smith at the DeKalb City Council Meeting

In DeKalb, the City Council approved a controversial taxing zone to pay for added security at Hunter Properties.

The new Special Service Area in DeKalb would mean that Hunter Properties would pay additional property taxes to foot the bill for security improvements near the Annie Glidden North neighborhood. Some community members, like Sasha Cohen, think the new designation shifts financial burden from Hunter properties to its tenants. 

“A cost that will simply be passed on to the existing tenants, many of whom are low income, and even more of whom have been struggling with the inability to make rate rent payments as it is due to the ongoing public health crisis,” said Cohen.

The City expects to collect around $100,000 a year from Hunter Properties. During a meeting Monday night, some critics voiced concern that Hunter may just not pay the taxes, just as they have previously refused to pay fines related to code violations -- totaling over several hundred thousand dollars.

City Manager Bill Nicklas said that there are additional measures for collecting taxes that will make it more difficult for Hunter to avoid nonpayment. 

  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.
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