When the Braves announced their move to the burbs on Monday, there was plenty of vocal vitriol from ITPers. But there was surprisingly little celebrating, let alone gloating, from the people of Cobb County. That low grumble you heard instead was the angry muttering and collective unsettling of suburbanite stomachs belonging to a tax base left to wonder where the hell Cobb’s share of the money for the new stadium was going to come from. And Cobb officials were saying nothing to salve the dyspepsia.
Until today. The county has released the highlights of its plan, complete with clever baseball-pie chart, through its website.
The two major takeaways: First, Cobb Countians will be on the hook for “only” 45 percent of the price tag, some $300 million of the estimated $672 million the stadium is expected to cost (which is surely set in stone cough Falcons deal)—not chump change, but significantly lower than the $450 million Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed had been throwing around. Second and most importantly to the purse-clutchers of Cobb, the release insists with underlined, all-caps type that there will be “no increase in property taxes to Cobb homeowners.” Instead the county’s tab will be fitted largely by the Cumberland Community Improvement District (a self-taxing area near the proposed stadium site, at the I-75/I-285 confluence) and bonds paid by a combination of rental car and hotel taxes and reallocated current revenue.
The stage is now set for November 26 when the Cobb County Commission will vote on a proposed memorandum of understanding (is that like being pre-pre-engaged?) between the Braves, the Marietta-Cobb Coliseum, and the Exhibit Hall Authority that would essentially seal the deal.
Now if Cobb officials could just come up with a pie chart illustrating how traffic won’t be a nightmare within the current nightmare, Cobb residents might be able to sleep soundly.