Braves seeking $60m in state tax breaks on top of $300m in county stadium subsidies

Remember when I wondered if all the unfunded transportation improvement mandates in the Atlanta Braves stadium plan were going to end up leading to the team asking for state money on top of the $300 million it’s trying to get from Cobb County? Turns out that it could be worse than that: According to Atlanta Magazine, the Braves owners have considered asking for state tax breaks to defray their own share of the stadium costs:

If you thought the Braves’ move to Cobb County would leave just Cobb taxpayers on the hook, think again. The team’s execs may seek millions more in tax credits from the state — largesse that would be underwritten by all Georgians…

A document obtained under the Georgia Open Records Act shows that negotiators for Cobb County and the Braves considered funding packages that included up to $60 million in state tax credits on top of the $300 million in county funding.

The current financing plan, in fact, is built on the assumption that state tax incentives and/or reduced construction costs for parking could trim the Braves’ obligation by up to $50 million.

These state tax breaks apparently could include rebates on sales and/or income taxes offered by the state to businesses expanding or relocating within Georgia. Granting these tax breaks to the Braves — for, as the magazine notes, “relocating the same team to a new stadium a mere fourteen miles away” — would definitely require the approval of Gov. Nathan Deal; it’s not immediately clear whether the Georgia state legislature would get to weigh in as well.

Meanwhile, Atlanta Journal Constitution’s PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter (yes, that’s its name) has delved into the claim by flyers sent out by the Revitalize Cobb business group promising “9,241 New Jobs + $295,000,000 in Wages + $0 Tax Increase for Homeowners + $3,000,000 Annually for Cobb Schools = 1 Great Deal for Cobb Residents.” Only one problem, reports PolitiFact: Those 9,241 jobs wouldn’t all go to Cobb County residents — according to the Cobb Chamber of Commerce study that the Revitalize Cobb flyer is based on, only 784 full-time equivalent jobs would go to Cobb residents. And looking at it as a 9,241-job boost to regional employment isn’t right, either, because “for the most part, jobs that already exist in downtown Atlanta are simply moving to Cobb.” (PolitiFact thus rated the Revitalize Cobb claims to be “Mostly False.”)

Downplaying the fact that most economic impact would be cannibalized from elsewhere in your metro area even though it’s actually included elsewhere in your report? Where have I heard that before?


6 comments on “Braves seeking $60m in state tax breaks on top of $300m in county stadium subsidies

  1. This Cobb County stadium is like an infinitely occurring car accident. You can’t turn away and somehow it keeps getting worse.

  2. I posted an article about this on my FB page, thinking it might draw a reaction from my FB friends who are fellow Georgians but (unlike me) not residents of Cobb County. Nothing. Either people are too busy Christmas shopping (or obsessing over Duck Dynasty), or they don’t care that $20 million in tax abatements may go to the wealthy owners of the Braves – in a state that can’t possibly benefit from increased tax revenue as a result of a team simply moving to a different county, and one in which budget austerity measures have cut school funding by millions. If this request is approved by Gov. Deal, he will not get my vote and I will campaign hard for whomever opposes him in the Republican primary. Assuming we can find anyone with the good sense to oppose this b.s.

  3. I don’t remember the name of the insect in question, unfortunately, but I did see a Nature episode years ago on a flying insect which lays it’s eggs on grasses/shrubs above small pools of water in which tadpoles have just hatched. One of the first thing the larvae does once there is develop a hook shaped mouth part that it can attach to the back of the tadpoles. Once it has sunk that hook into the tadpole, the tadpole tows it around the puddle as it eats it’s host alive. There isn’t anything that the hundred or so tadpoles can do about it, unless they sprout legs and walk out of the puddle before that thing has eaten them all alive (spoiler alert: They don’t grow them that fast).

    I guess nature does repeat successful evolutionary adaptations…

  4. It is almost like the like all the team owners are trying to compete in a contest for worst stadium deal for taxpayers you can get your city/state to award