Sunday, January 04, 2009

Baseball stadium deal's fine print

In the Richmond Times-Dispatch there's a good opinion piece about the downside of the financial picture of the baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom concept.
The developers propose using sales and use taxes generated by the project for the purpose of paying interest on a civic bond issue to fund a ballpark. The implication is that any tax receipts generated by the project are somehow qualitatively different from other tax receipts.

In fact, Shockoe Bottom has continued to develop positively for more than a quarter of a century now -- without the touted necessity of a baseball field. And all the taxes come directly to the city, rather than being diverted.

It is well to note that the developers will exit the risk loop upon completion of the project. The proposed bond issue for a ballpark not only denies the city any immediate return but also, like other aspects of the proposal, privatizes gain while socializing risk.

Click here to read the piece written by two residents of Church Hill, Randolph Bell and Jean Wright.

Furthermore, if somebody bothers to run a survey, my guess is they will find that there is considerable opposition to this project among the people who live close to where the stadium would be built.

Add to that number the baseball fans who say they probably won't go to baseball games in Shockoe Bottom, and one has to ask again -- who is really in favor of this very bad idea? And, why?

2 comments:

Tom said...

Keep pulling down the shade, Terry. That article does not even begin to address this proposal but rather rehash the bad aspects of the Global proposal from four years ago that has nothing to do with this one.

F.T. Rea said...

Tom,

Well, I must confess that I don't know all the financing details of this proposal that differ with the one from before. On the face of it they seem similar, in that the taxpayers will be making up whatever shortfalls might occur, should the project not meet expectations.

Perhaps you can point out some the the most obvious problems with the facts that piece in the RT-D has. Where is it wrong?