New sales tax to begin April 2024

Wednesday, November 8th 2023, 2:37 PM EST

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Now that the funding to build a new James Brown Arena is approved, many residents may be wondering, what's next? 

"I always said Augusta is not just a small town in the middle of your next destination..." said Jordan Johnson, District 1 Commissioner for Augusta-Richmond County.

Commissioner Johnson says that he believes Augusta made the right decision in approving a special local option sales tax to fund the project. 

Now that the votes are in, citizens and visitors will begin to see a half-percent sales tax increase on April 1st of 2024. But when will we begin to enjoy a new arena in Augusta's Entertainment District? 

Johnson says the efforts to bring performers to the Garden City are well underway already, just next door to the old James Brown Arena. 

"We are in the process now renovating the Bell Auditorium and once that's complete, we'll be able to have shows and engage in the entertainment at the Bell Auditorium, while the James Brown Arena is demolished and then rebuilt." Said Johnson.

The Bell Auditorium is expected to be complete by early 2024. Johnson says the coliseum authority is getting ready for the next three years of building its next addition, the James Brown Arena.

Shows are still scheduled and being scheduled at James Brown Arena. Performances continued at the Bell Auditorium until just before the groundbreaking on the updates there.