In the current fiscal year, Cobb commissioners budgeted zero in hotel taxes toward the stadium, saying the full amount would be needed to cover the county’s debt payments on the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, which is located nearby.
Even with the jump in hotel taxes, visitors will still pay less than promised toward the debt. A special $3 room night fee charged in the Cumberland area was supposed to contribute $2.7 million a year toward debt service, but commissioners over the years have diverted some of the money toward other expenses, such as police overtime, tourism promotion and a circulator bus.
In the proposed budget, which commissioners will be asked to adopt later this month, the room fee will contribute just $1.2 million toward the stadium debt.
General fund property taxes are budgeted to contribute $3.6 million — down from the $6.4 million proposed — sparing homeowners some of the costs. Cumberland-area businesses will chip in more to make up the difference. If the budget is adopted, special business district property taxes will pay $8.8 million next year toward the bonds, up from a planned $5.2 million.