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 EDT

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. Miguel Cabrera hits two home runs in return to lineup

    Sep 1, 2014, 11:17 PM EDT

    Miguel Cabrera Getty Getty Images

    Miguel Cabrera had just one home run in August. He doubled that today.

  2. The Reds have shut Homer Bailey down for the season

    Sep 1, 2014, 10:09 PM EDT

    Homer Bailey AP

    Bailey is currently deciding whether to undergo surgery for a flexor mass strain in his right elbow.

  3. Jorge Soler is third player in last 100 years with an extra-base hit in each of his first five games

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:11 PM EDT

    b3485beda422372e2c2a29a4fc91a053 Getty Images

    Enos Slaughter (1933) and Will Middlebrooks (2012) are the only others.

  4. VIDEO: Adam Dunn homers in first at-bat with Athletics

    Sep 1, 2014, 8:12 PM EDT

    Adam Dunn Getty Getty Images

    Acquired from the White Sox on Sunday, Adam Dunn made an instant impact in his A’s debut this afternoon.

  5. Phillies call up top prospect Maikel Franco from Triple-A

    Sep 1, 2014, 7:21 PM EDT

    Maikel Franco Getty Getty Images

    Franco got off to a slow start this season, but he has been on a tear in Triple-A since the start of July.

  6. The Cardinals have moved ahead of the Brewers for first place in the National League Central

    Sep 1, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

    683a4a3efa2ddee3b986dcc9c8b0849c AP

    The Brewers have had at least a share of first place since April 4.

  7. The Dodgers call up Joc Pederson

    Sep 1, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT

    SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game - World Team v United States Getty Images

    The Pacific Coast League MVP is on his way to L.A.

  8. No-hitter! Four Phillies pitchers combine to blank the Braves

    Sep 1, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 3.46.22 PM Getty Images

    Four pitchers, led by Cole Hamels, who handled six innings of it, combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves.

  9. Henderson Alvarez leaves start with a strained oblique

    Sep 1, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 2.30.12 PM AP

    As the Marlins’ playoff chances fade.

  10. Jesus Montero suspended for the rest of the season due to the ice cream sandwich affair

    Sep 1, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

    Jesus Montero Getty Getty Images

    He was already unofficially shut down. Now it’s all official-like.

  11. Bo Porter fired by the Astros

    Sep 1, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    Bo Porter AP

    Reports of strife between Porter and the front office were apparently right on the nose.

  12. The Brewers activate Matt Garza

    Sep 1, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT

    Matt Garza Matt Garza

    The Brewers are tied for first place and need a boost.

  13. Ned Yost says his players tried too hard in front of large crowds

    Sep 1, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 8.14.33 AM AP

    Maybe Yost should just tell Royals fans the exact number of people he needs in the seats for his team to play at its best.

  14. Video: Bob Melvin calls the Athletics’ play “Embarrassing. Pathetic.”

    Sep 1, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Bob Melvin Getty Images

    The A’s were, quite recently, the best team in baseball. Now they’re five back of the Angels.

  15. Wanna buy Ernie Harwell’s house?

    Sep 1, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT

    Harwell House

    Well, it’s not his (or his estate’s) house anymore. Likely wasn’t for decades. But if someone wants Jon Voight’s LeBaron, someone will probably buy this, right?

  16. Settling the Score: Sunday’s results — and a reminder of what Labor Day is all about

    Sep 1, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT

    Labor

    And part of the reason for this reminder is that, while Major League Baseball sees fit to commemorate most other holidays that occur during the baseball season, it has always given Labor Day short shrift.

  17. Blue Jays acquire John Mayberry, Jr. from the Phillies

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:35 PM EDT

    John Mayberry Jr. John Mayberry Jr.

    The Blue Jays added an outfield bench bat, picking up John Mayberry, Jr. from the Phillies on Sunday.

  18. The Brewers made a run at David Price in July

    Aug 31, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    David Price David Price

    The Brewers tried but ultimately failed to acquire David Price from the Rays in July because they refused to part with pitcher Jimmy Nelson.

Featured video

Who are the favorites for Rookie of the Year?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Soler (3238)
  2. R. Castillo (2751)
  3. Y. Molina (2580)
  4. A. Rizzo (2426)
  5. A. Dunn (2355)
  1. M. Cabrera (2303)
  2. B. Posey (2264)
  3. J. Ellsbury (2184)
  4. D. Pedroia (2102)
  5. M. Wacha (2014)