Here Come the Taxes

When it was announced last week that the Atlanta Braves would be moving their Triple-A franchise to a yet-to-be-built publicly-financed stadium Gwinnett County, county administrator Jock Connell indicated that the debt would be fully financed from stadium revenues.

“We anticipate it paying for itself from day one,” Connell said. “The decision we made before going into this was it had to be financially feasible.”

After running some preliminary numbers, I came to the conclusion that the county would be unlikely to cover debt payments from stadium revenue. This is mainly because the deal gives almost all of any revenue the stadium generates to the Braves.

Today, we found out the following from the AJC.

The Gwinnett County Commission will consider a tax on car rentals to help pay for the new stadium the county will build for the AAA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

The 3 percent rental tax would generate about $600,000 in revenue next year, the first full year it would be in effect, according to the county finance director, Lisa Johnsa.

That is quite a bit different than “paying for itself from day one.” That is unless, by “paying for itself” Jock Connell meant levying a tax to make up any shortfall in revenue. Apparently, that is exactly what he meant.

County Administrator Jock Connell said Friday that the tax was part of a financing plan that was too complex to describe in detail during the news briefing. He said he would have answered detailed questions about the proposal had reporters asked.

Connell said Friday he was referring to the total revenue package county officials prepared, not just stadium operating revenues.

Both Connell and Commissioner Bert Nasuti said the car rental tax was part of the financing plan from the earliest stages of the county’s efforts to bring a baseball team to the county.

I now have a category tag that links to all of the posts on the Gwinnett Braves.

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