Nov 14, 2013, 12:33 PM EDT
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.
Jul 10, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT
It’s a magical realism thing: features a coach putting Jeter at second base.
Jul 10, 2014, 2:17 PM EDT
For now Marco Estrade is scheduled to start Saturday, but he’s been terrible all season while serving up an NL-high 27 homers in 18 starts.
Jul 10, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT
Could be bad news for the Reds and Bailey
Jul 10, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT
Astros rookie George Springer has gotten lots of attention for his offense, which includes 19 homers and an .818 OPS in 74 games, but the 24-year-old outfielder can also do some spectacular things defensively like he did last night.
Jul 10, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT
A.J. Pierzynski being let go is not necessarily a white flag move. But should the Sox be sellers now?
Jul 10, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT
Carlos Beltran was scratched from the Yankees’ lineup last night when a ball he hit during batting practice bounced off the screen protecting the pitcher and struck his eye. And now he’s been diagnosed with two facial fractures, but they’ve been classified as “small” and the Yankees think he’ll avoid the disabled list.
Jul 10, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT
Signed to a four-year, $32 million contract this offseason that draw quite a bit of criticism, Vargas has a career-best 3.31 ERA and was on pace for a career-high 225 innings after throwing just 150 innings for the Angels last year.
Jul 10, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT
I can see not trading him given the small return he might bring. But re-signing him?
Jul 10, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT
Jered Weaver left Wednesday’s start against the Blue Jays with lower back tightness and there was some speculation that the Angels would give the right-hander a little extra time off before the All-Star break, but manager Mike Scioscia announced that Weaver will start Saturday versus the Rangers.
Jul 10, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT
Yes, it’s Jeter day at HBT, apparently.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
Before you look, guess which year it was. I am somewhat embarrassed to have been a couple of years off.
Jul 10, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT
Cliff Lee’s first minor-league rehab start was cut short by bad weather, but the Phillies left-hander took the mound at Single-A for the second time last night and tossed four innings as planned.
Jul 10, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT
The Cardinals’ most important position player may miss some time.
Jul 10, 2014, 8:57 AM EDT
Papelbon likes Philly just fine. But he thinks anyone who wouldn’t want to play for a winner is nuts.
Jul 10, 2014, 8:10 AM EDT
Death. Taxes. The Red Sox throwing a guy under the bus as he leaves the team.
Jul 10, 2014, 7:09 AM EDT
A handful of injuries went down last night, but so too did strict adherence to the Restoring Pitching Act of 2013.
Jul 9, 2014, 11:21 PM EDT
Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is 3-for-6 with a double, a homer, and three RBI through two games on his minor league rehab assignment with the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox and is on track to be activated from the disabled list this Friday according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
Jul 9, 2014, 10:33 PM EDT
The Reds are one of the hottest teams in baseball and beat the Cubs on Wednesday night by a score of 4-1, but there won’t be much of a celebratory mood in the clubhouse afterward …
Jul 9, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hinted to Mark Kizsla of the Denver Post last week that he would like to be traded to a contender. But it doesn’t sound like the Rockies front office will grant him that wish this summer.
- Carlos Beltran diagnosed with facial fractures after batting practice mishap 7
- Derek Jeter is the most popular MLB jersey this year 15
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 50
- The Rockies “aren’t looking around very hard” for a trade of star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki 27
- Jury finds the Dodgers partially negligent, awards $18 million to Bryan Stow 45
- Masahiro Tanaka injured: Yankees ace to undergo an MRI exam on his right arm 60
- David Ortiz is not pleased that his name got pulled into the John Lackey-Nelson Cruz thing 99
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 64
- Shocker: the Red Sox publicly criticize A.J. Pierzynski after cutting him (168)
- John Lackey on Nelson Cruz: “Not even going to comment … I’ve got nothing to say about him” (143)
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights (126)
- The 2014 All-Star rosters have been announced (103)
- Giants broadcaster says Angel Hernandez “does not belong in the big leagues” (101)