Answer: Although the Braves stadium deal has a unique & complex payment plan that shifts tax money from the not-yet-funded 2008 Park Bond into the Braves bond, the Board can still fund Park Bond 2008 with taxes recently reduced in July 2016 by restoring those earmarked taxes in September for the 2017 Budget.
Call or send a quick email to the Commissioners here. The public is also invited to comment on the 2017 Budget on September 13 at 9:00 AM and September 27 at 7:00 PM. Members of the Cobb Parks Coalition will be there, so please join us!
- The preliminary 2017 Budget was presented on August 23, 2016 at the Board of Commissioners Work Session. In the proposed budget, the Debt Service in the General Fund increases by 14,293% but only for the $400 million Braves Stadium Bond. See the county's PowerPoint image below.
- As it happens, the $40 million Park Bond 2008 obligation is not included in the proposed budget. Many Commissioners voiced some support during the August 23 meeting for adding Park Bond 2008 funding into the 2017 Budget, but it isn't included yet. Call or send a quick email to encourage the Commissioners to do the right thing.
- As we know, Cobb County connected taxes from 'repaid' Park Bonds to the Braves stadium. However, the $40 million Park Bond 2008 Referendum approved by 65% of the electorate has not yet been funded.
From the Cobb County Braves FAQ Page:
"Will my property taxes be used to pay for this (the new Braves stadium)? Currently .33 mills of your property taxes pay for the parks bonds that were issued in 1996, 2007 and 2008. The last of those bonds will be paid off in 2017 and 2018. The millage will then be shifted to the General Fund when these bonds expire to raise an equivalent amount of revenues of $8.67 million. Those monies will then be used to pay for bonds to finance SunTrust Park construction. The average amount of .33 mills per household is $26 per year and this shift of funding will not impact other government services such as police, libraries, parks and other services."
- The full $40 million Park Bond 2008 amount can & should be issued. We maintain that any assertion that only a percentage of the $40 million is available is incorrect because Park Bond 2008 Referendum was not funded and no bonds have been issued yet, so there is no repayment schedule to follow. The Park Bond was delayed due to the economy, so the bonds should simply be funded now to purchase property. See the front page MDJ article from last Sunday.
- Park Bond 2008 should be started this fiscal year with a new repayment schedule beginning on October 1 to be ready for purchasing properties the Parks Department selects this October.
- When the Budget is adopted on September 27, the Board can have both Park Bond 2008 & the Braves stadium fully funded, if the earmarked Park Bond 2008 tax money is restored to the 2017 Budget. Send a quick email to the Board of Commissioners asking them to do the right thing by voters.
- Park Bond 2008 would save hundreds of acres of ideal parkland yet add only $8 a year for the average homeowner.