New poll shows 72% oppose tax funds for Falcons’ stadium

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A statewide poll released by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows that 72 percent of those surveyed oppose the spending of $300 million in tax funds for a new stadium for Arthur Blank and his Atlanta Falcons football franchise.

The AJC poll also shows more intensity on the side of those who oppose the stadium funding proposal.

The poll indicated that 38.2 percent “strongly oppose” the stadium and 33.8 percent “oppose” it.  On the other side of the issue, just 16.6 percent of those surveyed support the idea and only 5.1 percent “strongly support” it.

The poll of 694 Georgians was conducted from Dec. 10 to Dec. 19, with a 3 percent margin of error.  The results are in line with other polls that show 65 to 70 percent opposition to the idea of using $300 million in hotel-motel tax revenues to pay for a new Falcons stadium whose total cost is projected in the $1 billion to $1.2 billion range.

The use of the tax funds for the new stadium was approved by the General Assembly in 2010.  The Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the Atlanta Falcons have been negotiating the terms of a stadium deal privately for several months.

The stadium issue could be one of the most controversial ones faced by lawmakers in the upcoming legislative session – they will be asked to approve a bill that would allow the World Congress Center Authority to increase its bonding capacity to $300 million for the proposed deal.

Opposition to the stadium deal is emerging among a coalition of tea party groups, Common Cause Georgia and legislators like Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta).

Common Cause is lobbying against the stadium deal because the negotiations on using state money have been conducted behind closed doors.

“You’re left very clearly with the negotiating parties excluding the public while including the public’s money,” said Gainesville attorney Wyc Orr, a Common Cause boardmember.  “That’s not right, that’s not fair, that’s what we’re trying to stop.”

© 2013 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: arthur blank , Common Cause Georgia , new stadium , tax funds , World Congress Center Authority