AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta wants it done in Atlanta, but that will not be easy.
“I don’t want to confuse anybody this is a heavy lift, both locally and in Atlanta, in a Republican majority subcommittee house floor, and senate a tax increase it does not start off with a head of steam,” said State Representative Mark Newton.
But it was the starting point for the city at its annual meeting with state lawmakers, getting approval for a C-SPLOST, to fund a new James Brown Arena.
“We are very delighted that the that the commission feels the same way we do for the need of a new James Brown Arena,” said Coliseum Authority Chairman Cedric Johnson.
The new arena hit a roadblock in November 2021 when Augusta voters rejected a referendum that would have raised property taxes to pay for it. This proposal is to get state approval for a new half-a-penny sales tax, that the city could put before voters to fund the new arena.
“Now we’re looking at the C-SPLOST, it’s not a tax on people’s homes, as passed but it’s a tax that is spread throughout the community,” said Johnson.
“It’s equitable, it’s fair, those are things folks are asking for, and even people who come from out of town and hey, shop here, and they eat here, they will be paying into the pot as well,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
But only if state lawmakers get the new C-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) approved during the legislative session, is there support.
“I think the plan is ambitious and also very doable, so I am looking forward to getting that through,” said Newton.
The road to a new arena for Augusta looks to get its start this legislative session in Atlanta.