Multi-million dollar jet registered to DeKalb County - CBS46 News

Multi-million dollar jet registered to DeKalb County

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Dekalb County watchdog Viola Davis sounded off about this 2009 corporate jet and its ties to the county.

According to the website Flightaware, the multi-million dollar aircraft is equipped with 9-seats and is owned by the Development Authority of Dekalb County.

"If you’re going to do something like this you need to be upfront with the taxpayers and voters and be transparent with it," said Viola Davis, a concerned taxpayer.

The news caused a fire storm on Facebook’s Reform Dekalb Page.

One person said:

What in the hell is going on?

Another: 

This is outrageous.  When we think we have seen it all.

And this:

I believe we need answers as to why and who uses this plane.  Any media people here that want to investigate?  Such a taxpayer waste.

CBS46 did investigate and here is what we found after questioning the president of the development authority.

"As Development Authority’s we’re authorized by the state of Georgia specifically to do economic development type projects," said Ray Gilley, DeKalb Development Authority President.

Gilley said it was part of a financial deal to attract business to the county. He said they’ve never had access to the aircraft and it belongs to a company called Acuity Brands which is an LED lighting manufacturer.  

"They basically finance it.  We help them to reduce their operating costs as a part of their taxes so a small portion of their taxes are reduced annually and over time they’ll be paying 100% of their taxes," said Gilley.

As we began looking into it, we realized it's not that uncommon in the metro. Cobb County's development authority has a couple of similar deals. As for Acuity Brands, they opened a technology and engineering facility in Decatur.

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