Cobb County’s “existing property taxes” for Braves stadium are actually a tax hike | Field of Schemes

16
Nov

Cobb County’s “existing property taxes” for Braves stadium are actually a tax hike | Field of Schemes

What about the “growth in our [property tax] digest”? Currently, property tax receipts for all of Cobb County run about $190 million a year. That means that for property tax receipts to rise enough to pay off another $180 million in stadium costs — that’d be about $12 million a year — the average value of every parcel of Cobb land, including those 20 miles away in the opposite corner of the county, would have to rise in value by 6.3% solely by virtue of sharing the county with a baseball stadium. Or everything within three miles could double in value, which would have the same effect.

Given that previous studies have found that property values only rise very slightly when a new stadium is built — just over 3% for properties in the immediate vicinity of a new MLB stadium, according to one report — the idea of either the stadium district doubling in value or properties way out in Powder Springs gaining 6% seems pretty far-fetched.

So, Cobb County would certainly steal some revenues from Atlanta by virtue of hosting the Braves, which would offset its costs somewhat — but Cobb taxpayers would still likely be looking at a loss in the $100-200 million range. And that’s not accounting for the opportunity cost of taking 15 acres of land and handing it to the Braves tax-free for their stadium, removing the possibility of future development there that might actually pay taxes. Or the opportunity cost of what else the county might do with its $300 million that could increase economic activity (and tax receipts) some other way. It’s not the worst stadium deal ever — that’s going to be a tough record to break — but it still looks like an awfully high price for Cobb taxpayers to pay for a slightly shorter drive to the ballgame.

via Cobb County’s “existing property taxes” for Braves stadium are actually a tax hike | Field of Schemes.

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