Cobb Schools Will Pay for Tax Break Near Braves Stadium

Riverwalk 4

Cobb County is doing everything they can to encourage development near the future “Braves Country” parcel, where Interstates 75 and 285 cross; unfortunately, it’s Cobb County Schools who will initially suffer. Cobb County has awarded the 7-acre Riverwalk development, located at the corner of Cumberland Blvd and Cobb Galleria Pkwy, a huge tax incentive that will essentially excuse the land owners from paying taxes on the property for the next two years. Last year, owners of the undeveloped property paid $46,000 in taxes to Cobb County Schools. This news couldn’t come at a worse time, Cobb County School officials say. The county’s school system is already facing an $80 million deficit and is “in the worst financial situation perhaps [they’ve] ever been in,” according the school spokesman Jay Dillion.

Clarke Hungerford, Chairman of Cobb County Development Authority, countered criticisms by saying that the schools will suffer short term pain for long term gain. According the Hungerford, the tax break will last only two years, after which tax contributions from property owners will steadily rise from $75,000 in the third year to $756,000 in the tenth year. Once improvements are in, the site is expected to collect $3 million in taxes, compared to the $600,000 that would be collected without the development tax incentive.

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