Tax measure on Georgia ballot would benefit private operators of dorms
Toward the bottom of the general election ballot, Georgia voters are being asked to consider whether a property tax exemption should be extended to private companies that operate dorms on the campuses of the state's public colleges and universities.
The statewide referendum is one component of the University System of Georgia's plan to ultimately get out of the student housing business, turn the work over to private industry and at the same time clear some of the almost $4 billion in debt on its books.
The University System's privatization plan follows a national housing trend in higher education, with states such as Kentucky and Florida already operating dorms this way.
But while the model may be popular with some colleges, the extra incentive of extending a property tax exemption to private operators is not universally accepted.