VININGS, GA -- Express Cleaners is a family owned business that operates across from Cumberland Mall, and in the heart of the Cumberland Community Improvement District. Its owners expect fresh business from baseball fans. But they're also bracing for a big hike in property taxes they'll pay to the Cumberland CID. "Not a good thing to raise taxes," said Madhu Jasani, who owns the business with her husband.
Taxes are higher here because 175 commercial property owners within the five and a half square mile district have volunteered to a tax levy that pays for improvements within the district. The CID property tax now collects more than five million dollars a year. To help pay for the stadium, the tax levy will bump up from five to eight mills -- a hike of sixty percent.
Lance Lamberton, an anti-tax activist, says the limited scope of the tax hike is beside the point. "I don't think taxpayers or taxes should be raised in any way shape or form to support what basically is an entertainment venue for profit," Lamberton said.
The tax hike "was the first thing that drew a red flag to me," said
Curtis Booker, owner of Cuts and Creations, a hair salon in the CID. "Of course I was overly excited at first about the Braves being (relocated), but now we pay a very high amount of taxes," Booker said. "Right now, I'm kind of taking a wait and see."