College Park could strike rental car tax deal for Philips in March

A deal between Atlanta and College Park to extend car rental taxes for a multi-million dollar update of Philips Arena could be struck sometime in March, the mayor of College Park said Thursday.

“There are a lot of things being done behind the scenes,” College Park Mayor Jack Longino said at the annual South Metro Development Outlook at the Georgia International Convention Center.

“Mayor Kasim Reed and I will sit down very shortly and talk again,” Longino said. “What I think is we will be close to a deal sometime in March.”

In November Reed proposed spending $142.5 million to renovate Philips as part of a bid to keep the Atlanta Hawks playing downtown. The Hawks would add another $50 million for a total renovation budget of $192.5 million.

The bulk of the city's money — $110 million — would come from extending car rental taxes that have been paying for Philips, which is owned by the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, since it opened in 1999. But it will require College Park to sign off on the deal because car rental facilities are in the South Fulton city near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Renovation plans include repositioning suites and making it easier for fans to navigate around the arena.

Longino said College Park and Atlanta still have to negotiate how to split the funds under a new agreement.

“We have always been sharing that money and we want to continue be able to share that money,” he said.