Cobb judge approves Tyler Perry’s $1.8M tax break to park his jet there

5:30 p.m Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 Local
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Film mogul Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry will get a $1.83 million cut in Cobb County taxes in exchange for registering and basing his luxury jet at McCollum Field.

On Thursday, Cobb Superior Court Judge G. Grant Brantley approved the last component of the package — a $35.3 million bond deal to refinance the aircraft.

State tax experts and former Cobb leaders said they doubted the deal was worth forgoing the money when Cobb’s development authority approved the deal in July.

Brian Hansen, one of the three Atlanta attorneys representing the film mogul with a reported net worth of $600 million, confirmed the bond validation but said he was under strict orders not to comment about the case.

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When asked if that was part of the deal or a condition set by Perry, the attorney said: “That’s just how I’m going to roll.”

Neither of the other attorneys were immediately available for comment Thursday.

Negotiations for the deal, which was given a code name of “Project Meatloaf” to keep talks private, began in May when representatives for Perry approached Cobb’s development authority.

“If you look at the amount of new persons and properties we put onto the tax rolls (and) as you look at the jobs being created as a result, it is a very positive project for Cobb,” said Nelson Geter, the development authority’s executive director, said Thursday.

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The Embraer jet, listed by Aviation Week in 2015 at $53 million, will bring 10 jobs to the county, Cobb officials have said.

Perry’s company, ETPC Aviation LLC, already has two other aircraft at McCollum.

Over 10 years, officials say, schools would end up receiving $733,000 in new property taxes off the jet, while the county government would receive $400,000, despite the incentives. 

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The amount the schools are giving up over the next 10 years, for instance, could pay the salaries of 28 teachers this school year.

Wesley Tharpe, research director at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, previously said the 10-job deal “strikes me as a very questionable return on investment.”

Geter said all that’s left now is the buttoning-up of the deal, which is similar to a real estate closing.

He said it could be done next week or “when the client wants to close it.”

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