With Braves promised stadium cash, Weather Channel next to demand Cobb tax subsidies

It’s probably total coincidence, right, that Cobb County just voted to give $300 million to the Atlanta Braves to locate in a new stadium there, and then this happens:

An executive at The Weather Channel says a significant investment is needed for the network to remain at its current headquarters in suburban Atlanta.

Shirley Powell, executive vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement to The Associated Press the company needs significant levels of investment due to projected growth. She said The Weather Channel is in discussions with Cobb County and the local chamber of commerce about ways they can support the company’s growth and investments.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports that these could include “significant” tax breaks for the Weather Channel agreeing to stay in town.

That sounds bad, and it is, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Kyle Wingfield notes that at least the Weather Channel is talking about adding about 250 jobs at an average salary of $75,000. The Braves, meanwhile, are promising 4,014 jobs (some at projects surrounding the stadium) for a total payroll of $61 million, which is an average salary of … $15,000? Clearly those aren’t full-time jobs, which makes sense, since most baseball jobs aren’t.

Which means if you pro-rate it to maybe 1,500 full-time equivalent jobs, then Cobb is looking at shelling out at least $200,000 per job, which is just dismal. But then, “dismal” is increasingly looking like Cobb’s middle name.


7 comments on “With Braves promised stadium cash, Weather Channel next to demand Cobb tax subsidies

  1. That sounds about right. Give away the farm, then let everyone know all about it when there’s nothing they can do.

  2. Wow, even more news:

    http://www.atlantamagazine.com/agenda/2013/12/11/cobb-commission-chair-tim-lee-turf-company-atlanta-braves-relocation

    “Lee’s client sells products used in building stadiums worldwide, including the Gwinnett Braves arena.”

    “When Tim Lee isn’t running Cobb County government, he’s promoting an artificial turf manufacturer. But the Cobb County commission chair doesn’t see that job conflicting with his newfound role as cheerleader-in-chief for a $672 million Atlanta Braves stadium.”

  3. The use of car rental fees as an adjunct seems odd, considering Cobb county is not the home for Hartsfield Jackson, where presumably the bulk of car rentals would be going on. How many car rentals are going on that they can make that sort of money from the fee? Atleast cities like Miami or Orlando can make a rational argument on tourist taxes, but Cobb County?

  4. Unless the city is a major tourist destiation that requires a car (like Los Angeles), most car rental taxes are actually paid by locals. Enterprise, which locates most of it’s locations off airport, is the largest car rental company for a reason.

    But you can sell it as only charging out of towners because people don’t realize all the times they will need to rent a car or have their insurance company rent a car for them. So they don’t think they’re being taxed.

    Hotel taxes are a little better, but not by much.

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