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View Full Version : FYI: How the state will pay $50 mil for Truman Complex renovation


shaneo69
02-07-2006, 09:47 AM
KC stadiums are in line to get $50 million in state aid
By Virginia Young
POST-DISPATCH JEFFERSON CITY BUREAU
02/06/2006

JEFFERSON CITY

In what critics are calling an end run around the Legislature, the state is poised to approve $50 million in tax credits for renovations to professional sports stadiums in Kansas City.

The subsidy, backed by Gov. Matt Blunt, would help finance a $575 million makeover of the Truman Sports Complex, where the Chiefs and Royals play.

The twin stadiums - Arrowhead and Kauffman - would be gutted and rebuilt with wider concourses and more restaurants, bathrooms and luxury suites. Supporters say that without the improvements, the teams might leave Missouri.

"The very real threat is that they move to Kansas," said Senate Majority Leader Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph.

Last year, a plan by Shields to use tax money for the overhaul died in the House amid complaints that the state had more pressing needs. But there's no ruckus this year; no legislative approval is needed.

The decision is in the hands of a low-profile panel called the Missouri Development Finance Board. The board will be asked to approve tax credits, which could be sold to raise cash for construction.

The Cardinals took the same path after legislators balked in 2002 at subsidizing a new ballpark to replace Busch Stadium. The board then gave the Cardinals $29.5 million in tax credits as part of a state financing package.

Jackson County officials may ask the board to vote on the Kansas City proposal as soon as Feb. 21. But state officials said Monday they may wait until after an April election, when Jackson County voters will decide whether to approve a 3/8-cent sales tax that would raise $425 million over 25 years. The two teams would kick in $100 million.

At $50 million, the state's outlay would be the most tax credits the board has ever granted for a single project, but not the most that state taxpayers have paid on a stadium. Missouri is paying half the cost of the Edward Jones Dome - $360 million over 30 years.

"From the state's perspective, (the Kansas City plan) is very, very reasonable," said Greg Steinhoff, director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, is chairman of the finance board. He is the only elected official on the board. It includes nine Missouri residents appointed by the governor and two members of the governor's Cabinet - the directors of agriculture (Fred Ferrell) and economic development (Steinhoff).

As the Senate's leader in 2002, Kinder championed the Cardinals' project. Kinder said last week that he is "generally favorably inclined" toward granting tax credits for the Kansas City stadiums. Without the aid, he said, the Chiefs and Royals might bolt.

Jackson County officials say that leases negotiated with the teams in 1990 made taxpayers responsible for improvements detailed in the master plan for the facilities (Arrowhead opened in 1972, Kauffman opened as Royals Stadium in 1973).If the county doesn't update the complex, "We'll be in default," said Jim Rowland, executive director of the Jackson County Sports Authority.

Critics doubt the teams would leave.

Tom Kruckemeyer, an economist for Missouri Budget Project, a nonprofit group that studies the state budget, said the Chiefs are "fabulously successful." He said the team reaps profits of $26 million a year, according to a Forbes magazine estimate.

"It's hard to imagine them finding a greener pasture elsewhere and it's ludicrous to suggest they couldn't finance these stadium improvements with their own money," said Kruckemeyer.

He said the state already provides $3 million a year for maintenance at the Kansas City sports complex, money that could help cover more urgent needs.

For example, he noted that about 90,000 low-income Missourians are losing Medicaid coverage and that state support for higher education has been stagnant, leading to big tuition increases for college students.

Those pushing the stadium subsidy say the public will gain from the state's investment.

Steinhoff said in a letter to Jackson County officials that taxes generated by the two teams would provide a "significant return."

Studies touted by promoters contend that the project would result in 1,780 new jobs during construction and 1,347 in later years.

Rep. Bryan Pratt, R-Blue Springs, wants to ensure that taxpayers get some tangible rewards.

He plans to file a bill this week that would require the teams to offer playoff tickets to Jackson County residents for two days and then Missouri residents for two days before opening sales to others.

He also wants the teams to let anyone with a valid Missouri license plate park at the games for $5.

Some Democrats would go further. They say Blunt is making an end run around the Legislature. Bills filed by Rep. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, and Sen. Frank Barnitz, D-Lake Spring, would bar the development finance board from granting tax credits to sports teams in the future.

Said Barnitz: "Instead of giving these funds away, we could have them for the important issues, like education of the kids or health care."

Largest tax credit grants

Projects granted the most tax credits by the Missouri Development Finance Board:

Busch Stadium, $29.5 million; November 2002

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Creve Coeur, $25 million; March 1998

Kansas City Performing Arts Center, $25 million; July 2003

Union Station, Kansas City, $21 million; December 1994, September 1998

American Airlines KCI Overhaul Base, Kansas City, $16 million; May 2004

Ninth Street Garage/Old Post Office, St. Louis, $14 million; November 2002


http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/E16791DCFBE462188625710E001F5D2A?OpenDocument

beer bacon
02-07-2006, 09:53 AM
I am a hardcore liberal and hate Blunt, but screw the democrats on this one. I want me some sports! **** education and healthcare. What is life without my sporting teams?

Phobia
02-07-2006, 10:03 AM
He also wants the teams to let anyone with a valid Missouri license plate park at the games for $5.


Everything Bryan Pratt proposes will be scrapped but not before he earns some serious goodwill from fans/constituents. Nice move, Bryan.

Cochise
02-07-2006, 10:08 AM
He also wants the teams to let anyone with a valid Missouri license plate park at the games for $5.


Sold.

jspchief
02-07-2006, 10:31 AM
That parking thing will never happen. Is it even in the hands of legislation?


I thought that was Lamar's money. And considering the way the NFL is looking at addinh local revenue to the profit sharing, I would think that wouldn't fly.

kc rush
02-07-2006, 11:03 AM
If its $5 for cars with Missouri plates, I'm borrowing my parents car on game days.

jspchief
02-07-2006, 11:07 AM
So who do they sell the tax credits to? Developers? Corporations? IMO, that's a smart and viable way to generate money. It promotes development and essentially uses tax money that doesn't yet exist, thus not taking away from anything.

cmh6476
02-07-2006, 11:21 AM
great news, glad I have a greta state senator representing me.

No coincidence I invited him to my wedding next month :p

Bowser
02-07-2006, 11:23 AM
If its $5 for cars with Missouri plates, I'm borrowing my parents car on game days.

That will never, ever happen.

cmh6476
02-07-2006, 11:28 AM
That will never, ever happen.


nope, but I'll be sure and let bryan know we all appreciate his efforts next time i see him :clap:

Bowser
02-07-2006, 11:29 AM
nope, but I'll be sure and let bryan know we all appreciate his efforts next time i see him :clap:

Please do. :thumb:

cmh6476
02-07-2006, 11:31 AM
Please do. :thumb:


just saw him over the weekend at the state lincoln days, wish I had known about this then...

ChiefsfaninPA
02-07-2006, 11:38 AM
just saw him over the weekend at the state lincoln days, wish I had known about this then...



***AHEM**** Are you done name dropping now. I could care less if you were Bryans personal nut holder. And next time you see him, tell him you are a man whore always dropping his name for credibility.

cmh6476
02-07-2006, 12:26 PM
***AHEM**** Are you done name dropping now. I could care less if you were Bryans personal nut holder. And next time you see him, tell him you are a man whore always dropping his name for credibility.


<--- LOOK AT ME!!!!!