No, we don’t claim to have ESP. We’re just surprised to see an article in this morning’s paper, concerning a new soccer stadium, including the following statement from the president of the local soccer team, in part:
"...and that user taxes, paid by those who attend games and use the stadium, would generate the tax revenue to help pay for the stadium." (Our emphasis.)
With reference to our most recent post on this blog, (Tax vs User fee), this certainly comes as a welcome surprise. We might even say shock! A novel idea that the individual should pay whatever it costs to present the entertainment sought!!
But the CIB and local financial history suggests we not celebrate too early. The reference to stadium cost actually says "a very significant portion" of the cost will be privately financed.
If the cost of the stadium is to "top $100 million," we’ll wait to see whether "significant" comes out to be more than the pittance of non-tax dollars that went into the basketball and football palaces.
But of course we were principally intrigued by the use of the term "user taxes" and the proposition that users - patrons of the sport - should be responsible for some part of the cost of construction of the stadium.
We’ll give a "grand amen" to that, but we’d also expand it to include all costs of construction, maintenance and operation of the stadium, and whatever financial success the team might have in the future. If the fans are willing to contribute enough through ticket prices to attract private investors, more power to them. That’s the way a private business should operate.
The very last thing Indianapolis needs is another gang of fiscal losers hanging around the neck of the taxpayer, ad infinitum!