Skip to content

The details are in: Cobb County residents will be paying a lot of money for the new Braves park

Nov 14, 2013, 12:33 PM EST

Image (1) money%20bag.jpg for post 4218

Via Deadspin, we have the Memorandum of Understanding outlining the method in which the Braves new ballpark in Cobb County will be paid for. Here it is if you’d like to check it out.

As mentioned this morning, it’s 55% Braves money, 45% Cobb County. The breakdown is like so, though:

  • The Braves will pay $280 million up front, adding $92 million more in the future;
  • Cobb County will pay $14 million up front in transportation improvements and $10 million more in general funds from a special business district.
  • The county will finance the remaining $276 million by issuing revenue bonds.

Of course, payments need to be made on bonds. They’ll be paid like so:

  • $400,000 a year from a new rental car tax;
  • $940,000 a year from an existing hotel/motel tax;
  • $2,740,000 a year from a new hotel/motel fee in that special business district;
  • $5,150,000 a year from a property tax increase in the special business district;
  • $8,670,000 a year from reallocating Cobb County property taxes.

The upshot? Politicians can and will say that they’ve only raised taxes in two small places — on out of towners in hotels and people in a special business district who probably knew this sort of thing could happen — and thus it’s a nice, impact-light, conservative-happy financing plan.

Except when you reallocate existing taxes to pay for a ballpark, you are taking them away from uses to which they are already being put. How much of the over $10 million a year moved toward the ballpark is being taken away from already-strapped schools, mental health services, parks, police, fire and other public uses?

And except that, if those rental car and bed taxes don’t provide the funds these estimates think they will, it will almost certainly be taxpayers footing the bill for the shortfall.

Also: if they have the will to raise new taxes in special improvement districts and on out-of-towners for this, why would doing it for any other purpose have led to accusations of creeping socialism and business and job-killing and the like? “Because we like sports,” is the answer, I suppose, “and we’ll now get nice seats at Braves games.”

All of which would be fine if the ballpark would bring economic benefits — benefits which go to the public who is paying for 45% of it — in equal or greater measure. But as we know from history, it is rarely if ever the case that sports facilities or events bring such benefits.

But hey, if that’s what Cobb County wants, at least it’s being done through the democratic process, right? It may be a bad decision to use public funds to pay for the Braves new park, but there’s nothing that says that taxpayers can’t decide to do dumb things. Right?

Because there are no new taxes here outside of the self-taxing CID, the County Commission can approve the proposal without a countywide referendum. Cobb County residents will cover nearly half of the Braves’ ballpark without getting to vote on it.

Oh. Well then.

Latest Posts
  1. Tommy Milone had a benign tumor removed from his neck

    Jan 24, 2015, 10:40 PM EST

    Tommy Milone Tommy Milone

    Tommy Milone underwent neck surgery in December to remove a benign tumor, but he was able to resume throwing just over two weeks later.

  2. Twins GM Terry Ryan could see Byron Buxton debuting in 2015

    Jan 24, 2015, 9:35 PM EST

    Byron Buxton Getty Images

    Top prospect Byron Buxton could be wearing a Twins uniform in the major leagues at some point this season according to GM Terry Ryan.

  3. Tigers, Al Alburquerque avoid arbitration with a one-year deal

    Jan 24, 2015, 8:30 PM EST

    Al Alburquerque AP

    The Tigers and reliever Al Alburquerque avoided arbitration with a one-year deal on Saturday.

  4. Proposed Jonathan Papelbon trade to Brewers is “on life support”

    Jan 24, 2015, 7:25 PM EST

    Jonathan Papelbon Jonathan Papelbon

    A Jonathan Papelbon trade to the Brewers may not be happening after all.

  5. Mariners considering bringing back Franklin Gutierrez

    Jan 24, 2015, 6:20 PM EST

    Franklin Gutierrez Getty Images

    Franklin Gutierrez could make a return to the Mariners. The 31-year-old outfielder has had trouble staying healthy over the last few years.

  6. Twins and Brian Duensing agree to one-year deal to avoid arbitration

    Jan 24, 2015, 5:28 PM EST

    Brian Duensing Getty Getty Images

    Duensing he has been useful and durable as a middle reliever over the past two seasons, posting a 3.67 ERA (110 ERA+) in 115 1/3 innings over 135 appearances.

  7. Report: Brandon Beachy has decided on a team

    Jan 24, 2015, 4:53 PM EST

    Brandon Beachy AP

    Beachy is currently making his way back from his second Tommy John surgery.

  8. Report: More than 200 scouts attended recent workout for Cuban infielder Hector Olivera

    Jan 24, 2015, 4:01 PM EST

    Hector Olivera Getty Getty Images

    The Giants, Padres, Rangers, Braves, and Yankees are among the teams showing strong interest in Olivera.

  9. 1953 scouting report for Ernie Banks

    Jan 24, 2015, 3:15 PM EST

    Ernie Banks AP AP

    Check out this scouting report from when Banks was 22 years old.

  10. Joe Posnanski: Remembering ‘Mr. Cub,’ Ernie Banks

    Jan 24, 2015, 2:40 PM EST

    MLB Photos Archive

    From the start, even in those turbulent times, even though Chicago was finding its way in a changing America, people in Chicago did not see the color of his skin. From the start, Chicago loved Ernie Banks.

  11. Ryan Vogelsong “really wasn’t comfortable with what was going on” with Astros before returning to Giants

    Jan 24, 2015, 2:16 PM EST

    vogelsong getty Getty Images

    Did something strange happen between Ryan Vogelsong and the Astros which led to his return to the Giants?

  12. Vince Coleman joining White Sox staff to help with baserunning

    Jan 24, 2015, 1:11 PM EST

    Vince Coleman Getty Getty Images

    Coleman, who ranks sixth on MLB’s all-time list with 752 stolen bases, spent last the two seasons as a minor league outfield/baserunning coach with the Astros.

  13. Athletics and Fernando Abad avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 24, 2015, 12:05 PM EST

    Fernando Abad AP AP

    Abad, 29, posted an excellent 1.57 ERA and 51/15 K/BB ratio across 57 1/3 innings out of Oakland’s bullpen in 2014.

  14. What they’re saying about the passing of Cubs legend Ernie Banks

    Jan 24, 2015, 11:11 AM EST

    Ernie Banks AP AP

    Reactions from a baseball world in mourning after the passing of Cubs legend Ernie Banks.

  15. Alex Rodriguez recently met with incoming MLB commissioner Rob Manfred

    Jan 24, 2015, 10:02 AM EST

    Alex Rodriguez AP AP

    With Rob Manfred set to take over for Bud Selig as MLB commissioner on Sunday, Alex Rodriguez recently paid him a visit in an attempt to clear the air and turn the page on the drama surrounding the Biogenesis scandal.

  16. Ernie Banks, one of baseball’s greatest players and greatest ambassadors has died at age 83

    Jan 23, 2015, 11:15 PM EST

    Ernie Banks

    There was only one Mr. Cub. And he was one of the greatest men in baseball history.

  17. Indians showing interest in Nolan Reimold

    Jan 23, 2015, 10:55 PM EST

    Nolan Reimold Nolan Reimold

    The Indians are considering bringing Nolan Reimold on board.

  18. Astros, Marwin Gonzalez avoid arbitration with a one-year contract

    Jan 23, 2015, 9:50 PM EST

    The Astros and utilityman Marwin Gonzalez avoided arbitration on Friday.

  19. Braves claim Eury Perez off waivers from the Yankees

    Jan 23, 2015, 8:45 PM EST

    Eury Perez Eury Perez

    The Braves added some outfield depth on Friday, claiming Eury Perez off waivers from the Yankees.

Featured video

Cubs shore up rotation with Jon Lester
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Santana (3608)
  2. D. Fowler (3488)
  3. S. Strasburg (3134)
  4. J. Gomes (3124)
  5. J. Baez (3095)