Here's How Cobb County Will Pay For The Braves' Ballpark

Cobb County has released more details on proposed financing for a new stadium to host the Braves, after the team announced it will leave Atlanta after the 2016 season. It's a 30-year deal that will have Cobb County paying around 45 percent of construction costs, or $300 million.

The memorandum of understanding (available below) shows that the Braves will pay $280 million up front, with an additional $92 million over the life of the operating agreement. Cobb County will pledge $14 million up front in transportation improvements and $10 million from the Cumberland Community Improvement District, a self-taxing commercial district overseen by local business leaders.

The county will finance the remaining $276 million by issuing revenue bonds. As for repaying those bonds, here are the bullet points. Remember, each figure is the annual cost over 30 years.

  • $400,000 from a new rental car tax.
  • $940,000 from the existing hotel/motel tax.
  • $2,740,000 from a new hotel/motel fee in the Cumberland CID.
  • $5,150,000 from a property tax increase in the CID.
  • $8,670,000 in relocation of existing Cobb County property taxes.

If you're against publicly financed stadiums (and you ought to be), that last one is startling. While the majority of Cobb County residents won't be paying any additional taxes to fund the Braves' stadium, a large amount of their existing tax payments will cover for the costs. That's $8.67 million a year over 30 years, 260 million dollars, that Cobb County could spend on other things (say, rehiring all those teachers) but will instead use to build a ballpark.

Also very much important: 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.