On May 27, the Cobb Board of Commissioners authorized borrowing up to $397 million in bond proceeds to finance the $672 million stadium.
The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority is the agency preparing to issue the bonds. But before it can do that, state law requires a bond validation hearing. The hearing is scheduled for Monday before Judge Robert Leonard.
Pellegrino, a member of Cobb Citizens for Governmental Transparency, said he filed the challenge because he doesn’t agree with a new tax the county is using to pay off the bonds.
“I filed a motion to invalidate the bond based on the illegality of, specifically, the hotel-motel tax, which the state Constitution says the state has the right to impose up to a certain limit,” Pellegrino said, adding the state had already surpassed that limit.
The hotel-motel tax charges hotel and motel guests in the Cumberland area extra fees to rent rooms, he said.
He said members of his group feel the deal that will ultimately bring the Braves to Cobb County should not be a taxpayer burden.
“There’s a good chance the revenue from the Braves will not cover the bond, so they’re going to raise taxes,” he said of the county government.
Pellegrino said other individuals planned to pose similar legal interventions.
“This is an opportunity for citizens to express their discontent with the county going into debt,” Pellegrino said.
He noted Monday is the last day for anyone opposed to the bond-issuing process to express their concerns in court.