Voters say no to paying more taxes for James Brown Arena funding

Richmond County

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Richmond County voters making the decision not to pay more taxes to support bonds that would fund a new James Brown Arena in downtown Augusta.

According to the uncertified results, more than 7,700 people voted against paying more taxes to fund the James Brown Arena, compared to about 5,000 who supported the measure.

Election leaders say turnout for the James Brown Arena referendum was slow but steady and if history has taught us anything, the ballot load for a referendum is always light.

Lynn Bailey, Executive Director of Richmond County Board of Elections said, “Elections like this though do generate a low turnout across the board. I can also tell you that generally speaking those voters that are 60 years of age and older are the best demographic across the board in any election.”

Bailey reports about 3,000 people voted in advance. Around 300 ballots were sent out through the mail.

“Of that around 250 have been returned back. There are a few that we are able to receive up until the end of the week and then also maybe some outlying provisional ballots,” said Bailey.

The city spent more than $150,000 on Tuesday’s referendum.

Bailey said, “Five years ago, this election would’ve cost probably $95,000 or $100,000 so the cost has increased exponentially between the voting system and the impacts of COVID.”

Those who voted no Tuesday are against raising taxes. Under the referendum, property taxes will go up about $100 for every $100,000 your house is worth.

The Coliseum Authority will meet Wednesday afternoon.


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