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Cobb County unveils funding plan for new Braves stadium

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This morning, Cobb County released a memo that gave the first written details about how a new $672 million stadium for the Atlanta Braves will be built and housed in the Cumberland-Galleria area of Cobb County.

The Braves announced plans to move to Cobb County beginning with the 2017 season, for a new stadium to be built near I-75 and I-285. Details had been mum so far on just how Cobb County would help pay for the stadium.

The memo shows that Cobb County's portion of the cost will be $300 million - much less than the $450 million figure that was first reported on Monday and refuted by Cobb County Commissioner Tim Lee.

The Braves' portion will be $372 million,with $280 million paid up front and the remaining $92 million (in present day dollars) to be financed and paid out to the county in thirty annual payments of $6.1 million for rent, and a share of advertising revenue, naming rights revenue, parking revenue from 2017 to 2046.

The agreement can be extended for five years beyond that, to 2051.

Any cost overruns, according to the MOU announced, will belong solely to the Braves to pay. Cobb County will not bear any liability for them.

As for Cobb County, the Cobb-Marietta Museum and Exhibit Hall Authority will issue bonds totaling $368 million dollars, using the $92 million from the Braves and $276 million from Cobb County to finance them. Cobb's annual payments for their portion, which will be approximately $17.9 million per year, will come from the following:

  1. An increase in the rental car tax by three percent. ($400,000)
  2. Revenue from the existing hotel/motel tax ($940,000)
  3. New Cumberland Special Service District Hotel Circulator Fee ($2,740,000, based on a $3 per room per night charge for hotels and motels in district footprint)
  4. New Cumberland Special Service District Tax: $5,150,000 (Consists of approximately three mills property
    tax increase in approximately the footprint of the Cumberland CID, or $120 per year on a $100,000 property)
  5. Reallocation of existing County Property Tax Revenues ($8,670,000)

The memo states the county property tax revenues will come from a reallocation, and not a raise, of property taxes. The county has had pressure to cut expenses in other areas of the county in many areas, however, over the past few years.

There is also a $10 million contribution from the Comberland CID and $14 million for a local "transportation improvement contribution" to add to the $276 million to get the County's number.

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