This may bore everybody to tears, but I've recently done a deep dive into governments giving tax breaks for development. It turns out that there's a lot of overlap with the tax law and cases used to decide GCO vs. Atlanta Botanical Garden. I thought I'd share what I'd learned, and why I think the appeals court screwed up even worse than we already thought they did. First, we need as brief an overview as I can manage of tax breaks for development. These are specifically reductions on property or ad valorem taxes on assets a company owns or wants to buy - normally real estate, but it could be any asset subject to a tax on its value. A government can't just say "the tax rate is X, but Acme Co. only has to pay 1/2x if they add some jobs". That's unconstitutional (violates equal protection, I think - IANAL). One common way around this is what's called a bond-for-title transaction. Since government doesn't pay taxes on government property, a government itself (commonly development authorities, which are unelected local boards with almost limitless power to make these deals in Georgia) will issue bonds in the amount of the property's value and buy the property with the proceeds. They then lease the property to the company wanting to use it, with the lease payments being equal to the bond payments (in many cases the company itself will buy the bonds, and that actually might be required in Georgia - not sure on that point). The agency will hold the title until the bonds are paid off, at which point title reverts to the company using it. So property taxes aren't due on the property itself, because it's owned by a government. But with a couple exceptions not relevant here, agencies can't eliminate 100% of otherwise due property taxes in this manner. So they instead tax the value of the lease itself. One common way (though not the only permissible one) to calculate the value of the lease is to take the value of the underlying property and subtract the balance of the bond payments due. For example, on a ten year bond-for-title deal, at the end of year 1, 10% of the bonds will have been paid off, so the company will pay ad valorem tax on a lease worth 10% of the value of the property. After year 5 they'll pay taxes on 50%, and so on. Not all property leased to private entities by governments is part of such a deal to abate property taxes. The Atlanta Botanical Garden has been around far longer than these deals are generally issued for and is probably not part of such a deal (I didn't look it up). Since there's no bond issue reducing the value of the lease, its value would simply be the value of the underlying property, and taxes would be due as though the Garden owned the property. So why is all of the tax abatement stuff relevant? Because what's being taxed as private property is the value of the leasehold, not the land itself. When the government leases property to a private entity, a new asset is created - a lease - and the lessee owes ad valorem taxes on the value of that asset. The asset is the private property. The underlying property itself doesn't magically become private and subject to taxation. If it were otherwise, bond-for-title deals, which have been well established in Georgia for many decades by statute and case law, wouldn't work. The private lessee would magically make the leased property itself private, and they would owe taxes on the total value of the property from day one. Even if the lessee is paying taxes on the full value of the property, the taxes are being paid on the value of the lease, which is an artificially created financial asset - a line in a spreadsheet - and not a physical piece of real estate, which is owned by the government and not subject to taxation (but rightfully subject to gun laws). So not only did the appeals court decide the legislature didn't mean what it said about private property, they also failed to understand the difference between taxation on private property and taxation on a financial asset created based on underlying public property. Their interpretation would negate tax abatement deals that almost every city and county in the state has been making for decades. Imagine a town issued bonds to buy space for a new public park. If I bought all those bonds, they would be my private property to sell, hold, or do whatever I want with them. But under the court's interpretation of tax law, the park itself would become my private property until the bonds were paid off. Anyway, if you made it through all this, congratulations! You're almost as big a nerd as I am. I thought it was interesting that not only did the appeals court basically declare the legislative change in the gun laws null and void, but it seems they didn't even get the tax law right.