How much will the new James Brown Arena cost you?

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:39 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - $235 million more. That’s how much money city leaders say they need to transform the James Brown Arena. If it all goes according to plan we know people who live in Richmond County will have to help pay for the project. So how much are we talking?

If your house is worth $100,000, you could be paying nearly $100 more a year in property taxes. We knew a new arena project wouldn’t be cheap and whether the cost is worth it is up to you.

This time next year, the box office at the new James Brown Arena might be open for business. You’ve seen the designs, you’ve heard the amenities, but how much will it cost?

A $5 million bond in 2020 kicked off the project. And you already approved $25 million for the arena in SPLOST 8. A bond approved by commission in July allowed them to get $15 million of that SPLOST money early. Now they’re asking you to approve the remaining costs, a $235 million bond paid for by ad valorem taxes.

“We have to have those dollars to continue, we cannot continue if it does not pass,” said Cedric Johnson, Coliseum Authority chairman.

The mill rate would change to 2.7887. For you, this could mean higher property taxes. For example, if you own a $100,000 home. Your taxes could be $97.60 a year. Or about an $8 increase a month.

“As much as we can reduce it, with not affecting the quality of the arena, those are the things we’re working on,” he said.

The authority is seeking grants from outside sources as well. Including a grant for $15 million for street improvements around the Bell and JBA.

“I think it is fair. When you look at all the drawings and when you look at what the arena will do for the economy,” he said.

A big arena, a big price tag, and a big move for the city of Augusta.

Many of you have also asked about sports including hockey coming back. They’re currently working to figure out the viability of all sporting programs and tournaments in the new JBA. The bond referendum will be on the ballot on Nov. 2. Monday is the last day to register to vote for that election.

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