Monday, April 03, 2006

"No" on the Stadium Taxes

Tomorrow morning, I'll go to the polls and say "no" to the tax proposals on my ballot. As a lifelong knee-jerk liberal tax-and-spend Democrat, it shocks me to finally find a tax I don't like, so I feel like an explanation is in order.

First, I like the Chiefs and Royals, but I'll get by just fine even if there is something to their threats that they will leave. Just like the players themselves, my loyalties can shift for a few dollars. If Jackson County can save a billion dollars by cheering for another team, I'm all for it.

Second, I don't like the idea of imposing an incredibly regressive tax to support a luxury for the upper class. It galls me to think that a minimum wage worker buying store-label soup at an inner-city grocery store will be subsidizing an SUV-driving Johnson Countian who thinks he believes in self-reliance.

Third, I don't like being patronized. The parade of event-candy they have been promising us (Super Bowl, All-Star Game, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Photo-Shoot) is a bunch of cynical hype.

Finally, I reject the notion that professional sports somehow define what is a "major league city". Do the Bills make you want to move to Buffalo? When you consider moving to Portland, is it because of the Trailblazers? Is Santa Fe a shitty place because it doesn't have steroid-gobbling athletes to make it special?

Yes, spending a billion dollars on the stadiums will create a few jobs. Spending a billion dollars on parks or other amenities will create more, though, and we can use those other amenities when other teams are in the post-season.


Blogger AM said...

It's all the threats that the sports teams will leave KC that drive me crazy. Fine. Go! Don't let the door hit ya on the way out! Me? I'll cue up "I Will Survive" and do just fine.

4/03/2006 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. Why do these teams have a stranglehold on the citizens of this city? Won't KC remain a great place to leave, even if the teams do leave (which seems doubtful anyway)? Aren't there some more worthy revitalization efforts for which we could use our tax dollars?? Vote NO!!!

4/03/2006 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted "no" this morning. But in the long run, I'm not against supporting a tax that will partially pay for new stadiums, or renovating the current stadiums at a MUCH reduced cost. In the meantime, plans should be put in place over the next 10 years (the length of the current lease) for new stadiums. I voted "no" because 1) this plan is stupid, 2) the roof looks stupid, 3) the owners are not paying their fair share, 4) I totally agree with Gone Mild about being patronized with all these "events" we would supposedly be getting. The Final Four people didn't even say they would come here, all they said was that KC could 'bid' for one. A study was done on the Jacksonville Super Bowl and only about 5,000 Jacksonville residents actually were at the game. And 5) how is adding a roof, a hall of fame, an amphitheatre and an office complex "saving the stadiums (or teams)"? Not to mention the lack of a sunset provision in the lease saying that revenue generated above the $425 million from the 3/8 cent sales tax would be used to pay off the principle. In fact, the lease states revenue generated above the $425 million will go to the teams for further improvements down the line. So the $425 million dollar price tag is a flat out lie...and statistical model shows a 3/8 cent sales tax will generate far more than that.

And he final straw was the e-mail spam I got from the KC Star last night imploring me to vote yes.

4/04/2006 1:04 PM  
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