Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 24, 2014

Politician Proposes Tying Stadium Money to Wins

“Last year, voters in Cuyahoga County approved a 20-year extension of a sin tax to pay for upkeep on Cleveland’s three pro sports stadiums. Today, one elected official presented a proposal to tie part of that payout to the teams’ performance. He calls it, a little obviously, a ‘win tax,’” Deadspin reports.

“The tax on cigarettes and alcohol is expected to raise at least $260 million over the next two decades, with the money earmarked for improvements and repairs to FirstEnergy Stadium, Progressive Field, and Quicken Loans Arena. The measure passed, but it hasn’t yet been agreed how to distribute the money. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald wants 20 percent of that annual payout to be contingent on where the Browns, Indians, and Cavs appear in the standings each year.”

Said Fitzgerald: “We love these teams, we’re loyal to these teams and we’re committed to maintaining these facilities. But we can also try to demand to get something a little bit better than we’ve gotten over the past 50 years.”

  • bpai99

    Fair is fair – have 20% of Fitzgerald’s pay be based on the results that the elected officials of his county achieve.

    • GameTime

      He would have been gone a long time ago if we did it that way. So would his other liberal Democratic friends. Typical isn’t it? Pass a tax and then find ways to divert it to pay for something else. That’s the Democratic way.

  • BlueJoubert

    If the people of Cuyahoga are so enamored for the stadiums, why are cocktails and cigarettes forced to pay for them? Seems to make more sense for sports equipment and clothing to bear the brunt. Imagine if every baseball, basketball, uniform and more from everyone who purchased them, from schools to churches to individuals, were taxed to pay for their own entertainment venues! Somehow I think their admiration for the stadiums would diminish. Perhaps they would want the billionaire owners of the teams to pay for their own facility.

    • GameTime

      You don’t know squat. It’s about 1 penny on a glass of wine. 4.5 cents on a pack of cigarettes. And about 2 cents on a beer. The public owns the 3 sports facilities. They have contracts with the team. The Indians and Cavs pay for up to $500,000 in repairs and maintenance. The public pays for the major capital expenses like a new roof on the Arena. Taking care of the facilities, which are used up to 300 days a year, has nothing to do with the teams’ performance.

  • pitch1934

    Sports makes billions of dollars each year in profits yet they ask citizens, who may not give one good tinkers damn about the teams, to support them through taxes. Screw them, let them carry the burden. Isn’t this what capitalism is about?

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    The Republicans & Democrats, have both Failed, the More Than 2.6 Million Unemployed Families, still Without an Extension Of Unemployment Benefits, since Late Last December. For the past Five And A Half Months, these families have had to face Evictions, Home foreclosures, Bankruptcy, and Homelessness, while these two political parties played “Party Politics” in the senate, Delaying and Postponing the vote. The Republicans in particular, have held the Extension Bill “Hostage” in the senate, never truly planning on passing the bill. When Billions of Tax Payer Dollars have been Approved for the Ukraine, and More spent on Military aid for Europe, the poor & Unemployed in this country are left alone to struggle and suffer economically. We have Representatives that are No Longer Representing the interests of the average American, but are answering to Corporate America and Special Interest Groups instead. These career politicians need be voted out of office in the coming election.

  • GameTime

    This guy, Ed FitzGerald, is a Democratic loser. He knows full well that the money is dedicated by law and cannot be spent or given to the teams or the players. He’s so desperate for free media that he’s willing to incur the wrath of his colleagues who worked very hard to pass that issue. . Ed, of course, was missing in action during the entire campaign. Then he pops up with something like this when he knows full well it is NOT going to happen. But hey, he will lose his campaign for governor and then the Ohio Democratic Party chairman will help him get a cushy job with a big law firm in Ohio. See that’s how they roll.

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