The millions of dollars accrued from property taxes in the Debt Service Fund these past 8 years would have been more than enough to issue the full $40 million Park Bond amount and still have enough for the $400 million Braves stadium bond. And the Board of Commissioners can always make it right by funding the Park Bond 2008 now. Newly elected Chairman Boyce ran on a platform that included funding the Park Bond 2008 referendum as citizens voted for. Chairman Boyce won with 65% of the vote, and he has publicly promised to fund the Park Bond.
It's worth pointing out that Cobb's property tax rate has been more than sufficient to pay for Park Bond 2008 from 2008 until this year when Chairman Lee lowered the Debt Service Fund by the exact .1 tax needed to fund the Park Bond. The Board approved this reduction on the eve of Lee's run-off election July 23, 2016. Concerned citizens had written thousands of emails before the vote asking them not to remove those earmarked taxes for Park Bond repayment.
Before July 2016, the Debt Service Fund stood at .33, and Chairman Lee had already announced .23 of those taxes would go for the Braves stadium. Today the Debt Service fund stands at 0 and the Park Bond has never been funded. This is because the Board of Commissioners approved using the intended funds from the $40 million project citizens voted for to pay for the $400 million project citizens didn't vote for. However, the Debt Service Fund can be restored and made right.
For Braves fans, it would be sad to see the new stadium built with misappropriated Park Bond funds. The Braves might want to pitch in to encourage Chairman Lee to do the right thing before he leaves office.
Citizens should always push for Park Bond 2008 to be fully funded, despite any fancy financial gymnastics some may use to avoid taking action on what citizens approved by referendum. Thankfully newly elected Chairman Mike Boyce stepped up to the plate and pledged to fully fund the Park Bond. That will be the first home run of the new year.