But not from the standpoint being touted in the morning newspaper. We’re referring to the report that the Football Game brought $150 million of new spending into the city. And that’s adjusted for comparison to usual tourism income for the same period.
We think it is good news because it seems to verify that it would be relatively simple to implement our idea for financing the whole deal - in the black and with dollars left for municipal coffers.
Reference is, of course, to the idea we call Revenue Increment Financing (RIF), to supplement Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
TIF practices affect all property tax payers. RIF would skim the money off the top of the "incremental" income generated by any particular event drawing significant numbers of visitors. If we can adjust for total normal tourism revenues, it should be easy enough to apply the same calculation to separate business operations. Event week as compared to average gross revenues for a to-be-determined prior period of time?
Since we obviously can come up with the numbers, it would seem logical to levy a tax of, say, 5% on the increment computed for any individual business. An ordinance levying that 5% on all businesses in the downtown area would have produced, for the current situation, revenue seven times the estimate of municipal expenditures.
An advantage to this approach is the effect it might have on the average citizen who will never be able to afford to see the inside of the football field at current prices. The possible $4-$6 million could be used, for instance, in park maintenance and upgrades. Maybe even a buck or two for public transit. Is it asking too much to try to really benefit the guy standing on the outside looking in?
The paper also carries a puff piece by a columnist alleging that going after another game would put down the "pessimists" who think the city can’t do things very well. We would turn that thought around.
The real pessimists are those who think this city, without a professional sports franchise, is just a blank spot on the map. (The same folks who thought it was a good idea to oust our world class symphony orchestra from downtown to be replaced by a nighttime TV comedian!)