Indeed, when the property was finally purchased on September 19, 1958 for $1,125,000.00, the State of Georgia paid $168,000.00 above what was suggested by an independent appraisal early in the year. Despite the high cost paid by the State for property rights, members of the State Legislature were estatic.
The following are quotations made by Georgia State Legislatures following the mountain's purchase in 1958. The quotations are cited from Harkness Kenimer's History of Stone Mountain.
"The State bought a 'rare jewel' at a bargain price."
"It will be a tourist lure second to none in the United States."
"Gasoline taxes from tourists will pay for it in two or three years."
"The state will receive annually a minimum of $500,000.00 from gasoline and sales tax alone."
"The fees will pay for the purchase price many times over."
"Will pay for itself over and over with tourist money."
"The $1,400,000.00 price tag was a bargain."
"Costs would be paid for in 5 to 10 years by small fees and concessions."
Georgia generates state revenue through a comprehensive system of taxes. In addition to a general sales tax, surface taxes on tobacco and motor fuels play a key role. Thus, the above references to the potential revenue derived from gasoline taxes lends insight into the clearly economic motivations of some of the legislators.