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Author Jim Walls

  • Jim Walls

    Contributing Writer

    Jim Walls has been a print journalist since 1972, including 28 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and a web journalist since 2009, when he launched AtlantaUnfiltered.com.

    Walls supervised investigative projects for 12 years at the AJC, including series examining cotton subsidies to millionaires, child prostitution, inequities in Georgia death sentences, and abuses in government programs to resettle refugees, protect foster children and care for disabled adults. The Center for Public Integrity, based on Walls’ reporting, ranked Georgia as having the nation’s weakest transparency and accountability laws and practices. His February 2012 article led to the indictment of State Senator Don Balfour. Walls lives in DeKalb with his wife and two daughters.

 

Do financial projections for the new Braves stadium add up?

Cobb commissioners tout a consultant’s rosy economic forecast—and downplay costs to the county.

If the new Atlanta Braves stadium becomes the economic engine that boosters predict, it would be as likely as seeing Julio Teheran throw a perfect game. Economists say they know of no major league ballparks that justify their public subsidies. "Study after study after study agrees with this finding," said sports economist J.C. Bradbury of Kennesaw State University. "People don’t even study it any more, it’s so non-controversial." Read More

Neither snow, nor sleet, nor taxpayer objection keep Cobb from fast-tracking stadium plans

Cobb commissioners deliberate more about backyard chickens than they do about using tax dollars to build a $672 million stadium for the Braves.

Cobb County commissioners agreed Tuesday to a two-week delay before voting on new zoning rules for keeping backyard chickens. But they wouldn’t postpone a much more contentious decision on $8 million a year in new taxes to subsidize the Atlanta Braves. Opponents objected that new information on who would be taxed to help finance a new stadium for the Braves had only become available this week. Previously released maps of new tax districts, they said, were poorly reproduced and virtually unreadable. Read More

Update: Open records bill moved forward

Contractors building the Atlanta Braves’ new Cobb County stadium would be protected from public disclosure of payroll and personnel records under a bill endorsed today by a state House subcommittee. Read More

A proposed law could cloud details of spending on the Braves and Falcons stadiums

Two Cobb legislators are sponsoring a bill that would add an exemption to Georgia’s sunshine law.

Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers are basking under the Florida sun as they prepare for the 2014 baseball season. Meanwhile, dark clouds could be forming in Atlanta to obscure details of public spending on the team’s proposed $672 million stadium. Read More

What Cobb businesses might be taxed to help cover Braves stadium costs?

Details on a proposed 2,552-acre special tax district

The Braves' new neighbors in Cobb County may be in for sticker shock. A proposed tax district planned to help subsidize stadium construction would comprise more than double the taxable property in the existing Cumberland tax district. Read More