On October 17, 2017 a group of City of Atlanta and Fulton County taxpayers decided to RISE UP against tax breaks for the super rich, millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy sports corporations that dominate the sports entertainment industry in America. What we call the sports franchise oligarchy. The RISE UP was manifested in the form of a lawsuit, under Georgia law, seeking to have the taxing authority in Fulton County Georgia to place the new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz stadium on the tax rolls of Fulton County.
Six individuals rose up to file the lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court. The case is based on the fact that the Falcons entered into a long term lease with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to use the building for a period of 30 years. This agreement which the Falcons call a non-taxable license agreement is actually a taxable lease agreement under Georgia law. We contend that the because the agreement is for a long term and gives the Falcons full and complete control over what would otherwise be governmental property it is no longer tax exempt and is taxable - not to mention that the local authorities have given away hundreds of millions of dollars to the Falcons to operate and maintain the building meaning that the taxpayers pick up all the expenses on the building while the Falcons pick up all the profits.
Predictably, the Respondent, Fulton County Board of Tax Assessors, responded by filing a Motion to Dismiss based upon procedural grounds. Their defense is based upon the centuries old principle of "sovereign immunity" - the King can do no wrong. They also filed an Answer to our Petition along the same grounds. We believe neither has merit and will be defeated in court.