Atlanta’s Cobb County will be forced to raise taxes in order to complete public projects.
Georgia is currently undergoing a major entertainment industry renaissance. There are film tax credits to allow for major feature films to film in Atlanta, there’s a new Atlanta Falcons stadium and a new Braves stadium. But, it looks as though Georgia may not be able to afford this new era of tax credits for the rich.
In 2008, Cobb County approved $40 million to buy land for public parks, in an attempt to meet the national standard. Residents approved the board measure with a 65 percent voting yes in a referendum. But, that money has not materialized, even after county commissioners found hundreds of millions to fund the new Atlanta Braves’ stadium – a brand new stadium that cost of nearly $400 million to Cobb County taxpayers.
It’s important to point out that the decision pay for the new Braves ball park was decided by county officials and not the residents of Cobb County – it didn’t even allow for public residents to vote for. In fact, one commissioner said no vote was held because they did not want to pay $300,00 for a special election to decide the future of $400,000,000.
Cobb County residents were told that their taxes will not go up, if a new stadium is built. However, every time a city or county pays for a stadium through taxes or taking from the general fund, taxes usually increase. In fact, SunTrust park was approved at a time Cobb County schools were desperately slashing budgets. In fact, nearly 200 teachers, school officials, and other positions were cut in order to save money. Apparently, The Cobb County School System, like most in Georgia, faces a decline in revenue because of fewer state dollars as well as property tax collections.
And many reports suggest that this is the start of a new era of tax increases to support Georgia’s new renaissance. Well, at least you have a new stadium, superhero movies, and traffic.