ATLANTA-- Governor Nathan Deal wants the Atlanta Falcons to agree to reshape an agreement struck to build a new stadium, with an eye on reducing the public share of the project's funding.
Falcons officials met Friday with officials in the Governor's office to discuss reducing the state hotel-motel tax contribution, sources say. Last month, the Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center agreed to set the hotel-motel tax contribution of the billion dollar project at $300 million.
Deal wants to lower that contribution to $200 million, which would potentially eliminate the need for legislative approval of the deal. Current law sets the GWCC's borrowing limit on hotel-motel tax funds at $200 million.
Deal's spokesman Brian Robinson confirmed the meeting, but would not discuss its details. A GWCC spokeswoman said the GWCC was not part of the talks.
The talks are described as ongoing.
The reduction of the public contribution would potentially defuse a thorny political issue for the legislature, which would have to vote to raise the debt limit to $300 million. Many lawmakers tell 11Alive News that the stadium deal, which would largely be funded by the Falcons, is politically unpopular in their districts.