Monday, November 18, 2013

Tax implications of the Braves move

As the Atlanta Braves prepare to move up the road, Cobb County businesses, residents, and visitors will face a handful of new or increased taxes.  Here’s what we know of so far:

·         A 3-mill property tax increase for 175 businesses in the Cumberland Community Improvement District, stretching from parts of Paces Ferry to Powers Ferry.
·         A new 3 percent car rental tax countywide.
·         A new $3 per room per night hotel tax at hotels in the Cumberland area.
·         $368 million in Cobb County Exhibit Hall Authority bonds over 30 years.
·         A reallocation of $8.7 million in property taxes collected countwide—money that would have otherwise been spent on by Cobb County other recreation and greenspace initiatives.
·         45 acres of the new Braves site will be taxable, but 15 acres will be tax-exempt.


·         Future highway access improvements to the stadium and who will pay for them.
·         Will retailers in the Cumberland CID pass their higher property tax costs onto their customers in the form of higher prices?  Forbes’s “Tax Girl” Kelly Erb says, “Of course, savvy consumers realize that corporations don’t simply eat tax and other increases: they pass those increases along to consumers. Higher taxes for businesses will likely result in higher costs for taxpayers, just on a receipt and not on a tax bill.”
·         Will Atlanta itself receive any tax reduction now that the Braves are departing?

Taken in combination with the renewal of Cobb’s SPLOST earlier this month, it seems like Cobb County’s reputation as a low-tax haven in metro-Atlanta may be fading somewhat—a phenomenon which, over time, could help Decatur and DeKalb’s attractiveness in the metro-area by comparison.

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