Cobb County chair Tim Lee has promised to announce details today of his Atlanta Braves stadium funding plan, and says that contrary to earlier reports that it the county will supply $450 million of the funds, the stadium will only cost taxpayers 45% of the $672 million price tag:
“The other 45 percent will be funded without a tax increase for over 95 percent of Cobb County residents,” Lee said. “This is a public-private partnership and the Braves are paying for 55 percent of the cost.”
Lee wouldn’t give more details, but he and fellow commissioner Helen Goreham provided some hints: Goreham told the Marietta Daily Journal that” those who are going to benefit the most from the Braves moving to Cobb County will be the ones that will be making the largest investment in it,” and Lee indicated that this referred to “those who live in area of the Cumberland Community Improvement District” where the new stadium will be sited.
Putting it all together, it sounds like the Braves will be sharing some revenues to pay off about $150 million of the county’s $450 million cost (though whether this would be actual team revenue or a kickback of team property taxes, sales taxes, etc., remains to be seen). That’d leave $300 million ($302 million would be 45% exactly) to be paid for by county taxpayers. That’d be a heck of a lot to saddle CCID commercial property owners with — the district has only raised $100 million total over the past 25 years — so there must be something else at work here. Of course, “without a tax increase” could also mean Cobb would use existing taxes, but there’s not much of those to go around already. We’ll know more later today, hopefully.