by Bill Simon
Imagine, Ladies & Gentlemen, for a moment that you met this wonderful person whom you know from the moment you saw them that that person was who you wanted to be with for the rest of your life (or, at least 33 years of the rest of your life).
You went on a whirlwind courtship with them for 4.5 months of romantic dates, going to the mountains and the beach on the weekends, each of you meeting each other’s parents, brothers and sisters, etc….and, everything is just PERFECT between you two.
And then he (or, you) popped the question to get engaged to start a more serious courtship of working towards holy matrimony…and, within a mere 3.5 weeks of that engagement, you discover your “perfect mate” has been courting someone else that you did not know about…that you had NO inkling of.
And, furthermore, you discovered this news via other people who saw them in public, cavorting about.
Tell me, do you trust that person to have told you the truth in ANYTHING they had claimed during the 4.5 month courtship?
Because that is the situation as it is right now with the Braves and Cobb County. The Braves, for the record, are the ones who are cavorting with others to duck out of all of their verbal promises made to Cobb County to get the MOU agreed to.
Exhibit A: An investigative report by Atlanta Magazine, just published December 18, 2013, and written by Jim Walls.
Some significant excerpts from this article:
“Tax incentives could tip the scales of the project toward majority-public financing. Braves boosters have been emphasizing that the ballclub would pay more than half of the estimated $672 stadium costs. They’ve even distributed a handy graphic of a baseball bearing the words “Braves 55%.” But if even $12 million in state tax credits comes through, the team’s share of the currently projected cost would fall to less than half.”
“[Braves executive vice president Mike] Plant mentioned the possibility of another incentive, created especially for new tourism destinations, that can be granted only by the governor. If the team were approved for the program, it could earn the Braves a 10-year rebate on all sales taxes it collected at the new stadium – perhaps $20 million.”
“That rebate of both state and local sales taxes would reduce the immediate benefits to Cobb County, which says its investment in the Braves will net an additional $3.2 million a year in tax revenue. An economic analysis conducted for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce estimated the new stadium would generate a total of $910,000 in sales taxes during construction and more than $1.7 million annually after that.”
A $20 million “rebate” on sales taxes? Plus $12 million in tax credits?
In one of the many conversations by one of the Braves’ folks back before the vote on MOU, the Braves bullsh*t artist reassured a county commissioner that the Braves would do ALL sorts of things for the school system, and this project would bring-in ALL sorts of sales taxes for the school system…and now, we discover that the Braves are looking to eff-over the county and the school system of Cobb by going behind their backs to get a rebate on sales taxes generated by the project…which means that the county and the school system will not be receiving what the Braves promised they would generate in sales tax benefits if the county agreed to the financing deal.
Even if you are the dumbest, most naive suitor, are you going to trust what your new fiance told you about anything she/he promised during the 4.5 month courtship?
Well, I know that the dumbest county commissioner is Tim Lee, and he is likely stupid enough to continue to sleep with the Braves, and agree to anything they put forward.
To the other three commissioners who were promised this, that, and the other by the Braves’ organization…do you actually believe anything the Braves tell you they “will do” when they are looking to, right this moment, give the taxpayers of Cobb the short shrift via getting sales tax rebates that hits both the county and the school system?!
None of their “promises” mean anything at all, except that there is a really good chance that they are lying to the county.
Knowing at least two of the commissioners very well as to their inability to think on their own (i.e., Birrell and Goreham), they will likely not care that someone is running around behind their back, looking to take even more from the mouths of the county taxpayers than what the county has more than generously agreed to put into the deal. (Weird, though, that they are both females, and if this was a real courtship of personal relationships, they likely wouldn’t trust anything if they found out their fiance was screwing around on them with other mates…but, hey, it’s the Braves…their bad faith is not indicative of anything else, is it?)
As far as Mr. Ott and Ms. Cupid…well, we’ll just have to see how they react when they discover the Braves going behind their back.