AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The building of a new James Brown arena could be decided in Atlanta with the creation of a new half-a-penny sales tax to pay for construction.
“It takes much of the burden off of property tax owners and puts the burden on sales tax and with it only being a half-cent I actually think this is a pretty smart way to go,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Brandon Garrett.
City leaders are getting behind the idea of a C-SPLOST, a new sales tax that could go before voters in November if approved by the General Assembly.
“I look forward to getting it started, frankly I’ll get it stated a little bit today, in a Ways and Means pre-session meeting we’ll all work together but I think it’s bipartisan,” said State Representative Mark Newton.
In 2021, voters rejected a bond referendum for the new arena that would have raised property taxes by more than one hundred dollars a year on the average priced home.
“We take responsibility that it didn’t pass the stars didn’t line up for us there was just a tax increase that happened,” said Coliseum Authority Chairman Cedric Johnson.
But will Augusta voters be more willing to vote for a new sales tax for the new arena?
“Ain’t taxes high enough? I mean food and everything else is high enough, why would they put more burden on people?” said Leon Harris.
“No more sales tax, no more taxes period,” said an Augusta woman who called herself Sam.
”I’m comfortable with letting their voices be heard just like they did in 2021, think this is the correct way to do it, we should not impose it on them…” said the Mayor Pro-Tem.
The new funding proposal has supporters of a new James Brown Arena feeling good.